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The Department is working with NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care to help schools and colleges provide support for children and young people with emerging mental health issues and secure specialist treatment where it is needed.
The NHS Long Term Plan set out that by 2023/24 an extra 345,000 children and young people in England aged up to 25 will receive mental health support via NHS-funded mental health services including new Mental Health Support Teams linked to groups of schools and colleges. The teams will work with groups of schools and colleges to provide swift access to support for children and young people, especially those with emerging, mild and moderate needs. Teams will also support referrals to more specialist treatment. Roll-out is starting with a trailblazer programme to test how teams can be effectively delivered, including how they can work effectively with local authority services to provide coordinated support for children and young people. Staff for the new teams are currently be being trained and the first 59 teams will be fully operational in 25 areas of the country by the end of the year.
Directors of Children’s Services and Directors of Public Health in Local Authorities will play an important role in supporting local implementation of the new teams. The Department for Education is working with Public Health England to ensure that local authorities are kept informed and are invited to contribute to local plans for implementation.