Thank you for contacting me about young people’s wellbeing.
It must be a matter of priority for all of us that we do everything in our power to ensure our children are happy and healthy. I know Ministers share this view, and I am reassured that many steps are already being taken towards this goal.
The introduction of the new Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum will be an important step in improving our children’s overall wellbeing. The curriculum is designed to equip children early-on with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships, as well as preparing them for adult life in a changing world.
Schools make a real difference to children’s mental health, and so I am pleased that Mental Health Support Teams will be rolled out to schools and colleges. These teams will employ new staff who are being recruited and trained specifically for the programme. The first 25 trailblazer sites delivering 59 new teams were announced in December 2018 and a further 57 MHST sites, delivering 123 teams, were confirmed in July 2019. The National Health Service is on track to deliver the roll-out of mental health support teams in schools and colleges across 20-25 per cent of areas in England by 2023/24.
Monitoring children and young people’s wellbeing will of course be vital to ensure we are making progress. I therefore welcome the publication of the first ‘State of the Nation’ report into children’s mental wellbeing last year. The report delivers on a commitment made last World Mental Health Day to publish an annual report designed to better understand patterns and issues in young people’s mental health, alongside guidance for schools to help them measure their students’ wellbeing and make sure appropriate support is in place.
On a local level, I will continue to make the mental wellbeing of young people a top priority both now and in the future, and this is ever more important due to the indirect effects coronavirus may be having on mental health. Through engaging with national organisations like Mind, to offering my support to local organisations such as Xtrax, I will strive to ensure all young people receive the support they need in these challenging times.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this important issue.
Sally-Ann Hart MP