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500,000 children in UK to receive mental health support

At the start of 2019, in the UK there will be new Mental Health Support Teams available to cater to more than 470,000 children and young people. The teams will operate in 25 different areas and will work in and near schools and colleges.

Each team will work with 8,000 children and young people and will provide support to a group of 20 schools and colleges each. UK secretary of state, Matt Hancock, announced the plan stating that it “will see the health and education systems come together so our children can access the help they need at school and takes us a step closer to achieving our goal of parity between mental and physical health.”Continuing he said, “children and young people with mental illness should receive the same level of support as those with physical illness.” He went on to explain the new teams are made possible “by the extra £20.5bn we are investing in the NHS”.

Education secretary Damian Hinds stated: “Children today experience pressures that we as adults often find hard to appreciate, or possibly even understand. We are much more aware of mental health in the education sector now than in decades gone by and rightly so, and teachers are often able to recognise the early warning signs of changes in their pupils’ behaviour or mood, but they are not mental health professionals. That’s why through these new support teams working with schools, we will speed up access to specialist services and make expert advice available to those who need it the most.”

Author: Julia Zvobgo

Julia Zvobgo is a Cultural Anthropologist and the Community Manager of Child in the City.

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