A new plan to make expert mental health support available for schools and colleges in England has been revealed by the government.

The initiative will see mental health support teams being based in or near colleges and schools in 25 areas.

These teams will begin offering support from next year and will offer help for up to 8,000 young people and children in approximately 20 colleges and schools within their locality.

The teams will essentially build on the support that’s already in place from nurses and school counsellors to support youngsters with a range of mental health issues plus those who have severe needs accessing the correct support more quickly.

Dealing with mental well-being and health

The Department for Education says it will fund training for senior mental health leaders in colleges and schools to ensure there’s a ‘whole school approach’ when dealing with mental well-being and health.

The first support teams will begin training in January at seven universities around the country.

Matt Hancock, the secretary of state for health and social care, said: “Young people and children with mental illness should receive the same support as those youngsters with physical illness.”

He added that the government is paying for the new service as part of the extra £20.5 billion funding in the NHS so the education and health systems can work together and help youngsters in schools and colleges.

‘When it comes to mental health, early intervention is crucial’

Jacqui Doyle-Price, the Minister for mental health and inequalities, said: “When it comes to mental health, early intervention is crucial and this announcement ensures that young people will access life-changing support immediately when their mental health issues first appear and help prevent these from escalating into adulthood.”

She added that encouraging young people to consider their mental well-being as they do their physical issues is part of putting physical and mental health on an equal footing.

Ms Doyle-Price said: “One in four of us, it is estimated, will have a mental disorder at some time and I’m confident that improving access at a young age to critical care ensures we are delivering on our promise for helping people lead healthier lives for longer.”