£7 million funding announced for senior mental health leads in schools

Five anti-bullying charities receive additional funding to continue work until 2023.

Catherine Lough
Thursday 12 May 2022 00:01
PICTURE POSED BY A MODEL File photo dated 02/02/2020 of a teenage girl with her head in her hands showing signs of mental health issues, as millions of school pupils now have access to specialist mental health support in the face of “record demand” for services, the NHS in England has said (Gareth Fuller/PA)
PICTURE POSED BY A MODEL File photo dated 02/02/2020 of a teenage girl with her head in her hands showing signs of mental health issues, as millions of school pupils now have access to specialist mental health support in the face of “record demand” for services, the NHS in England has said (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The Government has confirmed it will put £10 million towards training senior mental health leads in schools, it was announced on Thursday.

A further £7 million has been allocated for schools for mental health training for the 2022/23 academic year, bringing the total funding for mental health up to £10 million.

So far, the Government said that over 8,000 schools had claimed a £1,200 grant to train a senior mental health lead between October 2021 and March 2022.

The new funding announced on Thursday will mean that 8,000 more schools will be able to apply for training grants at the end of the financial year.

The Department for Education also announced that funding will continue for five anti-bullying charities, the National Children’s Bureau, Diversity Role Models, Equaliteach, the Anne Frank Trust and The Diana Award, with the charities receiving an additional £1m to continue training and support programmes until March 2023.

The funding will be focused on projects tackling homophobic bullying, bullying of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities, and supporting victims of hate-related bullying.

It is vital that we continue to support the wellbeing and mental health of young people alongside their academic recovery, and senior mental health leads will play an important role in doing this

Will Quince

The funding follows previous grants worth £1 million given to the charities in November, as well as an additional £3.5 million to charities tackling bullying in previous years.

Children and Families Minister Will Quince said: “It is vital that we continue to support the wellbeing and mental health of young people alongside their academic recovery, and senior mental health leads will play an important role in doing this.

“I am continuing to work across government to ensure we meet the commitments set out in our mental health green paper.

“This includes rolling out mental health support teams so that millions of children across England can access the support they need.”

Schools that have already used the training have reported that they “feel much better prepared and empowered to support students”.

Minister for Mental Health Gillian Keegan said: “The last two years have been particularly challenging and although children are incredibly resilient, it’s crucial they can access mental health support as early as possible.

“We’re making great progress on better supporting young people’s mental health and this additional funding to train senior mental health leads will complement our work on the accelerated rollout of Mental Health Support Teams in schools and expansion of community services which is well under way.”

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