As the Minister in the Department for Education with specific responsibility for children and young people’s mental health issues I have recently met my counterpart in Department of Health (DH), Alastair Burt.
We have confirmed that our departments will continue to work closely together on reforms to children and young people’s mental health services following the publication in March of ‘Future in Mind’, the report of the work of the DH and NHS England task force on children and young people’s mental health and well-being. Joined up action across health, education and children’s services will help to make sure that understanding of mental health is on an equal footing with physical health, that mental health issues are not stigmatising for children and young people, and that services are accessible where support is needed and responsive to the needs of individuals.
The Department for Education is already committing £1.5m to the development of a joint training pilot with NHS England to train mental health leads in schools and specialist child and adolescent mental health services. In addition the department is providing funding worth £4.7m this year to support 17 projects delivering a wide range of support across the country to children and young people with mental health issues. The department has also funded PSHE Association guidance on teaching about mental health in PSHE which was published in March 2015. This will be followed by a set of lesson plans spanning key stages 1-4 which will be available for schools before the end of the summer term.