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Rebecca Delaney
Rebecca Delaney
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Government builds on commitment to bring mental health first aid to schools
Date:26 OCT 2017
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The Government has responded to a joint report by the House of Commons Education and Health Committees on children and young people's mental health and the role of education. It has agreed that it is important for teachers to understand mental health issues in young people and to be able to identify where pupils might have an underlying mental health problem. It also said it will look at what might be done to build on its commitment that every secondary school in the country will be offered mental health first aid training.

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The original report examined several issues, including well-being in schools and colleges, mental health training for teachers, partnerships between schools and colleges and mental health service providers, and the impact of social media on the wellbeing of young people.

The report welcomed the Government’s commitment to making personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) a compulsory part of the curriculum and recommended it upholds that commitment.

The Government said the Department for Education will be conducting a thorough and wide-ranging engagement process on the scope and content of these subjects to determine the content of the regulations and statutory guidance.

The report argued that training school and college staff to recognise the warning signs of mental health problems in their students is crucial and current teachers should receive mental health training as part of an entitlement to continuing professional development.

Action

The Government agreed that it is important for teachers to understand mental health issues in young people and to be able to identify where pupils might have an underlying mental health problem. In developing its upcoming green paper, the Government said it will look at what might be done to build on its commitment that every secondary school in the country will be offered mental health first aid training.

The Government also maintains that there is a significant work programme underway to support improved access and support which aims to address variation in timely assessment and evidence based interventions for mental health problems. By 2020, it says at least 70,000 more children and young people per annum will be able to access effective care.

Read the report in full here.
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