Increased mental health support funding for children and young people

The UK government has recently announced that they’re extending Senior Mental Health Leadership training to reach more schools and colleges to mark Mental Health Week 2022. This funding will benefit thousands of children and young people through additional mental health support in their schools, colleges and universities.

In this blog, we break down the new funding and discuss how this funding can be used to benefit your school.

A further £7 million funding is available

Creating and embedding a mental health culture in an education setting that fosters openness can be difficult. In workplaces and educational settings alike, a positive culture is forged from the top down, so having specialised leadership in this area is highly important. Because of this, the UK government has announced a further £7 million (the total now standing at £10 million) in funding to train a Senior Mental Health Lead in educational settings.

Funding has stemmed from the Government’s green paper, which outlined plans to offer training to all eligible settings in England by 2025. According to figures, over 8,000 schools and colleges claimed a funding grant of £1,200 to train a Senior Mental Health Lead between October 2021 and March 2022. The new investment means that up to 8,000 more schools and colleges (the equivalent of two-thirds of eligible settings) will be able to apply for the new training grant by the end of this financial year.

“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.”

Children and Families Minister, Will Quince

The funding benefits for schools

The role of the Senior Mental Health Lead will be to ultimately create and support a wellbeing culture in educational settings, focusing on the pupils. Training will be centred around aiding schools and colleges in creating a safe and open space to discuss health and wellbeing with pupils whilst constructing stronger links to local mental health support. Overall, the funding for the training is to equip educational settings with practical knowledge, aid with emotional support and give young people easy access to the support services that they need.

According to the government, the feedback from this training has been positive so far. They have stated that one member of staff has written that they “feel much better prepared and empowered to support students”.

Additional funding to tackle bullying

As well as allocated funding for training, the government has announced further funding for five leading charities and organisations working to tackle bullying and champion respect. Each received an additional £1 million (previous grants worth £1 million provided to the organisations in November) to help with the rollout of training and support programmes until March 2023. The five charities and organisations are:

  • National Children’s Bureau (Anti-Bullying Alliance)
  • Diversity Role Models
  • Equaliteach
  • Anne Frank Trust
  • The Diana Award

The funding grants will specifically help children who identify as LGBT, have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and are victims of hate-related bullying.

The last few years have been difficult for many people, and the funding can help support children and young people at school.

“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.”

Minister for Mental Health Gillian Keegan.

If your school, college or university hasn’t claimed funding yet, we encourage you to do so. Training a Senior Mental Health Lead can hugely benefit the pupils in your school and help staff feel confident in their ability to help and support.

RECOGNISE THE SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF MENTAL HEALTH

It is important to train staff to recognise the symptoms and signs of mental health and at Juniper Education, we hold online Mental Health CPD courses. Find out more information on our courses including dates and times below.