Bim Afolami MP welcomes additional mental health support for local pupils

Bim Afolami has welcomed news that children and young people in Hitchin & Harpenden are to benefit from additional mental health support. 

It was today announced that schools and colleges in Hitchin & Harpenden will receive priority access to mental health training from October this year. This follows news in December that Hitchin & Harpenden would be among the first places in the country to benefit from new Mental Health Support Teams, which link schools and colleges with young people’s mental health services.

The mental health training announced today is backed by £9.3 million and will be provided through workshops which bring together school and college staff and NHS professionals. It will raise awareness of mental health concerns and improve referrals to specialist help when needed. All schools will have access to training over the next four years.

The announcement is part of the Government’s wider programme to support young people’s mental health, which includes an additional £1.4 billion investment and the introduction of compulsory health education lessons from 2020.

Commenting, Bim Afolami MP said:

“Bringing school and college staff into the same room as NHS professionals, and encouraging them to work together, will ensure more pupils get the right support at the right time.

“With half of all lifetime cases of mental health disorders beginning by the age of 14, bridging the gap between education and NHS services is vital if we are to ensure all children get the best possible start in life.”