Better mental health support for young people

A coalition of health and education experts have committed to making mental health and wellbeing a central part of education recovery plans in education settings across England.

Co-chaired by Universities Minister Michelle Donelan and Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford, the government’s Mental Health in Education Action Groupa also included Mental Health Minister Nadine Dorries, Youth Mental Health Ambassador Dr Alex George, and representatives from leading mental health and education organisations.

Since its launch earlier this year, members of the group have taken feedback on areas to improve support for pupils and students as well as staff working in all areas of education, reflecting on the main challenges facing them including the increase in eating disorders and self-harm among young people and how to help staff manage their own mental well-being.

Members of the group gave so far committed £7 million for the Department for Education’s Wellbeing for Education Recovery programme, to facilitate training and resources for staff in schools and colleges; and collated and coordinated all mental health delivery programmes into a single portal on to simplify access to resources and training for schools and colleges, teachers, staff and councils alike.

Vicky Ford said: “The mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people must remain a priority as we move forward into a new academic year, so that children can get on with their lives and their education in the best possible way. I’m proud of the progress our Mental Health in Education Action Group has made these past months in making sure education settings can access the significant support and investment we have provided for wellbeing. I want to encourage all school leaders to explore what’s available to them and their pupils over the summer and into next term, so we can work together to support children to build back better from the pandemic.”

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