The proposals set out in the green paper include:
- creating a new mental health workforce of community-based mental health support teams
- every school and college will be encouraged to appoint a designated lead for mental health
- a new 4-week waiting time for NHS children and young people’s mental health services to be piloted in some areas
- a new national partnership to improve mental health services for young people aged 16-25
In response to the Green Paper, our CEO, Rosie Tressler has said:
‘We welcome the recognition from government that the mental health of young people must be better supported. These proposals will begin to address some of the challenges our communities can face, but we recognise that for the NHS, education institutions and other partners to deliver significant and meaningful change, substantial financial investment will be required.
In response to some of the headline recommendations, we welcome the promotion of mental health literacy programmes in schools as these have the potential to support vital early intervention, prevention and help-seeking as well as improving academic outcomes. We are keen to see further detail about how it will be ensured that suggested minimum waiting times for NHS services lead to real improvements in the speed of access to treatment for young people as soon as possible, as currently there can be a substantial delay between a student's first referral and access to treatment.
We are pleased to see that this report has extended the focus to age 25, and as such the experience of university students. Our previous research has highlighted the difficulties that Higher Education students can face in transitioning from Children (CAMHS) to Adult Mental Health Services. It is crucial that transitions between services happen as effectively as possible. We support plans for a new national partnership to improve mental health services for young people aged 16-25, and hope that as well as focus on developing interventions for young people there is active co-production on solutions with them. Partnership working will be key to addressing the unique challenges of this age group, particularly in transitioning from school to university and out of university into the workplace.’
Student Minds will be contributing to the consultation, through consolidating feedback from our student Policy Panel, graduate Steering group and our broader network over the coming weeks to ensure that student voices are heard. Check the Student Minds website in January for further details.