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Carers: Young People

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Royston Smith Royston Smith Conservative, Southampton, Itchen

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support the mental health needs of young people who have additional responsibilities as carers.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Government continues to value, recognise and support carers to provide care in a way that supports their own health and wellbeing. It remains committed to supporting young carers so that they are properly protected from excessive or inappropriate caring responsibilities and supported to achieve their full potential.

That is why the Government published a Carers Action Plan last year setting out a cross-Government programme of targeted work to support carers, including young carers.

In addition, children and young people, including young carers, will benefit from improved provision of mental health services resulting from the NHS Long Term Plan and the Government’s Green Paper on children and young people’s mental health. The Green Paper aims to improve the provision of mental health support through its three key proposals:

- incentivising every school or college to identify and train a Senior Lead for Mental Health;

- creating new Mental Health Support Teams in and near schools and colleges; and

- piloting a four-week waiting time for specialist National Health Service services, so that there is swifter access to specialist NHS services for those children and young people who need it.

These three proposals are currently being trialled in new trailblazer areas.

The above-mentioned Mental Health Support Teams form part of the NHS’s commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to ensure that by 2023/24, at least an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25, including young carers, will be able to access support via NHS-funded mental health services and school– or college-based mental health support teams.

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