Mental health issues have been a large topic of social discussion in recent years, with many campaigns being put in place to raise awareness and encourage a boost in support and funding.
This week, Richmond Council announced that they will boost funding, meaning teachers and school staff will be better equipped to identify emotional and mental health issues in their pupils.
They announced funding for a new consultant, offering support to schools and teachers in identifying emotional and mental health issues early on.
Mental health issues in young people is a priority for Richmond Council, Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group and the Health and Wellbeing Board. Whilst 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 Paul Hodgins, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Schools, said:
“Mental illness can be devastating for young people and their families. 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. And, in a recent young people led review by Healthwatch, they said more funding was needed for support.
“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 £31m over the next four years, 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.”
We applaud Richmond Council’s decision to boost funding in this crucial yet currently overlooked area and hope to see more awareness raised in the future.