To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Government's aspiration number 7 and paragraph 407 of his Department's Future in Mind report, published in March 2015, what plans he has to invest in universal services to support children and young people's wellbeing through delivering mental health promotion and prevention activities.
Children and young people’s mental health continues to be a priority area for this Government. We are committed to delivering the vision set out in Future in Mind through a major system-wide transformation programme working alongside our partners in the Government and arms’ length bodies. This will improve access and make services more widely available across the country.
The core delivery mechanism in making this happen is the system-wide publicly available, Local Transformation Plans (LTPs), that should cover the full spectrum of children and young people’s mental health need from prevention, raised awareness and resilience building to support and care for existing or emerging mental health problems and include plans for how clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will ensure that the needs of all children and young people are met locally. In developing LTPs local areas were asked to work with their key partners across health, education, youth justice and local authorities, and crucially, involving young people and their families, to agree locally how best to meet the mental health needs of children and young people in their local populations, which includes delivery through universal settings and through targeted services for children experiencing mental health problems. LTPs are refreshed annually, and it is for CCGs and their partners to decide which local organisations should be involved in developing and refreshing these plans.
A national programme of work will support local areas, including the extension and expansion of the use of evidence-based interventions, tackling stigma, improving data and information to inform greater transparency and accountability and developing a specialist and stronger workforce. The Department has also invested £3 million into MindEd to improve awareness and knowledge of children and young people’s mental health, which provides a free e-learning platform so that those in contact with children can better recognise when a child needs help and ensures they get it. MindEd is extending the skills and knowledge of National Health Service clinicians, staff working in universal settings, such as teachers, social workers, and counsellors and supervisors working in a range of educational and youth settings.