Good mental health is a priority for the Department. It can have a profound impact on the whole of a child’s life, not just their attainment. Schools have an important role to play, but teachers are not mental health professionals. They need support from specialist services, which is why we are investing an additional £1.4 billion in children and young people’s mental health services to 2020.
The Prime Minister announced earlier in the year that a member of staff in every secondary school in the country would be offered mental health first aid training. This training has now begun. It will equip those undertaking the training with the knowledge needed to identify and make an initial response to mental health concerns, which they can share with colleagues. The Prime Minister also announced a number of pilots to develop practice and evidence about what works in promoting good mental wellbeing, putting peer support schemes in place and developing joint working with specialist mental health services. We are procuring organisations to run these projects and will announce the results as soon as possible.
We have published a blueprint for school counselling services, which provides schools with advice on delivering high quality counselling to all pupils.
We have funded the development of MindEd, a free online resource which allows all those working with children and young people to access training and information on a range of mental health issues.
The Department has also issued advice on behaviour and mental health providing teachers with information and tools to identify pupils who need help, and to provide effective and early support.
We will be considering with the Department of Health how best to build on this work. We will include proposals in a joint children and young people’s mental health green paper, to be published by the end of the year.