Mental Health Minister, Nadine Dorries, and Public Health Minister, Jo Churchill, have announced an investment £3.3m on the expansion of 23 local projects to help prevent mental illness in children and young people.
Thousands of young people across England will benefit from support including counselling, mentoring and arts programmes in their communities.
The Government has committed to train all teachers to spot the signs of mental illness in children, making sure they can intervene before issues escalate.
The funding will allow more children and young people aged 25 and under to access local services to support their mental health, with early intervention for those at risk of mental health problems.
The projects have an emphasis on improving access to non-NHS services, including for groups such as LGBT young people or those from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
Earlier this year the Government pledged to overhaul society’s approach to mental illness and mental health care through better access to education, training and support across communities.
Dorries said, “We know children and young people today face many pressures at home, socially and academically. Giving them easily-accessible mental health support at an early age can help them thrive later in life.
“That’s why the Government is investing billions every year to transform mental health care. Crucial are community-led projects that support young people by providing them with the tools and means they need to manage their own mental health.”
Churchill added: “It’s only right that children and young people are able to access mental health support beyond the NHS in the heart of their communities, schools and homes where they spend the majority of their time.
Government funding boosts
Health and Wellbeing Fund
This is part of a programme of government investment in the voluntary sector.
The projects will be fully funded through the scheme in their first year and additional joint funding from local commissioners will be agreed for two years afterwards.
The NHS Long-Term Plan
This provides an extra £2.3billion a year. The plan aims to transform mental health services so that 345,000 more children and young people have access to mental health support by 2024, including via mental health support teams in and around schools. This will significantly improve early intervention and prevention.
Last summer’s NHS funding increase allocated the health service an extra £33.9billion more every year by 2024 to support the plan.
A leading role for the voluntary sector
“The Health and Wellbeing Fund is leading the way in ensuring government plays a role in cultivating the most-effective, innovative and successful forms of community support – backed by the NHS-Long term Plan funding to improve NHS mental health services too.”
And Kathy Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Mental Health Providers, said: “The voluntary sector is key in the NHS Long-Term Plan and offers a range support for children and young people. The sector is innovative, has reach into communities, and there is huge potential to expand and scale up its offer.
“We therefore welcome the Health and Wellbeing Fund’s focus on this important area and the funding of 23 exceptional voluntary and community sector projects.”