Children and young people’s mental health – green paper

This week the Government launched a green paper on its plans to help support children and young people with their mental health.

This green paper, which focuses on earlier intervention and prevention, especially in schools and colleges, is available for everyone to comment on until 2nd March 2018.

The proposals include encouraging every school and college to appoint a lead for mental health, a new mental health workforce of community-based mental health support teams and a new 4-week waiting time for NHS children and young people’s mental health services to be piloted in some areas.

A fund of £300m, which has been made available, is set to be spent on funding new mental health support teams and training staff in schools.

Feedback is also sought on how to educate young people about mental health issues as well as on setting up a new working group to look at mental health support for 16 to 25-year-olds.

I welcome these proposals and the focus on early intervention. Having a dedicated person in schools, who has training and skills in dealing with mental health problems will be a real step forward.

In recent years social media has become part of normal life for children and young people growing up and I am glad this green paper is also proposing a report should be carried out on the impact technology has on our young people’s mental health.

I would urge everyone to have a look at this green paper and give their views. Understanding and treating mental health problems early will help stop them becoming more serious.