Mind responds to launch of national mental health programme to bridge gap between schools and colleges and NHS services

Friday, 12 July 2019 Mind

A national mental health programme has been launched to bridge the gap between schools and colleges and NHS services.

Every school, college and alternative provision will be offered training through a series of workshops as part of the Schools Link Programme, with the most appropriate member of staff from each put forward to take part alongside mental health specialists. This is designed to improve partnerships with professional NHS mental health services, raise awareness of mental health concerns and improve referrals to specialist help when needed.

The four-year scheme will be led by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, with Mind acting as a delivery partner.

Louise Clarkson, Head of Children and Young People at Mind, said:

"We are proud to be part the Schools Link programme as a delivery partner and welcome the much needed Government support for children and young people's mental health.

"With schools and mental health services struggling to meet the need between them, young people are falling between the gaps. We therefore wholeheartedly support the move to better connect schools and colleges with mental health services, to give children and young people the best chance of getting help, in the right place and at the right time.

"Mind's recent survey of 12,000 students revealed the scale of the problem, with the majority of young people either experiencing mental health problems themselves or are close to someone who is. And yet, many are not accessing support and those that are, aren’t always getting what they need. Students and school staff need to know that if they are starting conversations about mental health, there are services in place to refer them onto.

"With so many young people affected, and knowing that most mental health problems start in childhood, we must do all we can to identify mental health problems early and offer the right support before they become more acute."

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