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The introduction of the project has arisen after it was revealed seven in 10 teachers felt they were ‘ill-equipped’ to deal with mental health issues stemming from bullying.
The pilot is being funded by both the Department for Education (DfE) and NHS England, paying £1.5m and £1.7m respectively. The money will go directly to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) which were selected from over 80 applicants and will receive up to £85,000 each.
The chosen CCG will then collaborate with at least 10 schools to establish a single ‘point of contact’ in each school for mental health services.
Dr Jackie Cornish, national clinical director for children and young people at NHS England, said the pilot was an opportunity for CCGs and schools to work together more closely and trial ‘a new way of thinking’.
She added: “Our aim is to significantly improve the care and experience we can offer to children and young people with mental health problems.
“We know that if we can help young people effectively at the earliest possible age we can gain the best possible outcome for them in the long run and that is why we are focusing our attention to improve joint working with schools.”
Morgan maintains mental health is a ‘key priority’ for the government and believed the ‘joined-up approach’ with mental health services will ensure that children, parents and teachers ‘know where to turn and how to access the best support’.
A report published in November by the Anti-Bullying Alliance included a survey showing over 25 per cent of 16-25 year olds who where bulled at school felt it had impacted on their mental health, claiming they had experienced depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
The lead CCGs which have received funding include: East and North Hertfordshire, South Cheshire, Bedfordshire, Salford, East Riding of Yorkshire, Tameside and Glossop, Walsall, Halton, Birmingham, Camden, West Hampshire, Brighton and Hove, Sunderland, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Hammersmith and Fulham, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Chiltern, Wigan, Haringey and Sheffield.
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