Council backs funding for youth mental health programme

Release Date: 08 March 2018

Following a successful pilot, Richmond Council has agreed to continue to fund additional support post for teachers and school staff enabling them to be better equipped at identifying emotional and mental health issues in their pupils.

In Tuesday’s budget, Richmond Council announced £50k to continue funding a consultant who has been offering support to schools and teachers in identifying emotional and mental health issues early on.

Mental health issues in young people are a priority for Richmond Council, Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group and the Health and Wellbeing Board.

The schools Mental Health Clinician post was originally funded in 2017 as a pilot. However, since then it has become so valuable in schools, that the Council will continue to fund the role for an additional twelve months. 

The funding will be used to help identify the support schools need to identify mental health issues early. It will also highlight gaps in the current provision. In addition, it will fund training and specialist services to support schools effectively in working with young people who are experiencing emotional issues.

Cllr Susan Chappell, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Schools, said:

“Mental illness can be devastating for young people and their families, and it is essential that they get the best possible care at the right time.

“We know that there are many pressures on young people, in school, at home and more increasingly online. In many cases the mental health of young people is largely invisible; disguised as bad behaviour or missed because there are so many other pressures on their lives. This funding will help ensure the school staff are informed on how to identify possible issues early.

“Despite immense pressures on Council budgets, and losing 66% of our Government funding and needing to save £20m by 2021, we feel that it is important to place additional investment in this area. It will allow us to act early and prevent any issues for these young people in later life.”

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159. 

Reference: P142/18

Updated: 29 March 2018