Mid Sussex MP welcomes £79m boost for children’s mental health support

Mid Sussex MP Mims Davies has welcomed a £79million boost for mental health support for children and young people.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 12:42 pm

The extra funding from the government will mean the number of mental health support teams in schools and colleges will grow from 59 to 400 by April 2023, supporting nearly three million children in England, the MP said.

She added: “Being a mother of two young girls, I understand how important this funding truly is.

“Young people feel they have a lot more pressure on their shoulders than ever before, which is only exacerbated by schools being shut; meaning they weren’t able to see their friends, teachers or support staff.

Mid Sussex Conservative MP Mims Davies. Picture by Steve Robards

“I want to encourage all parents to reach out for NHS support if they feel their child has been suffering mentally as a result of the pandemic.”

The mental health support teams enable children to contact them directly and get advice quickly. They can also provide families with tips on how to spot if their young ones are struggling.

In addition, the teams help staff in schools and colleges provide a ‘whole school approach’ to mental health and wellbeing through training sessions for parents or workshops for teachers.

Councillor Jacquie Russell, cabinet member for children and young people at West Sussex County Council, said: “The emotional health and wellbeing of our young people remains of paramount importance to us here at West Sussex County Council.

“This additional funding is very welcome news, increasing support in our schools, enabling professionals to intervene early and provide the appropriate advice and support to our children and their families when they need it.”

Access to community mental health services is set to be expanded as well, giving 22,500 more young people access to support by 2022. This includes talking therapies and cognitive behavioural therapy.

NHS research suggests that one in six may now have a mental health condition, rising from one in nine in 2017.

In an announcement on March 5, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was ‘incredibly conscious’ of the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on people’s mental wellbeing.

He said: “Children and young people have been particularly impacted by disruption to their routine, education and social lives and I am committed to doing all I can to ensure mental health support is there for those who need it.”