Children and young people

Key Terms

  1. Green PaperGreen Papers are consultation documents produced by the Government. The aim of this document is to allow people both inside and outside Parliament to  give the department feedback on its policy or legislative proposals.

Did you know?

  • Approximately 850,000 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health condition. This equates to 1 in 10 children and young people within the United Kingdom.
  • These illnesses can have a devastating impact on their physical health, their relationships and their prospects.
  • The challenge often extends into adult life, with half of all mental health conditions beginning before the age of 14. 

Government Action: The Green Paper 

  • In December 2017, the Government published for consultation the Green Paper ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision’, which detailed ambitious, transformational proposals to provide earlier support for children and young people’s mental health.

Key proposals

  • To incentivise and support all schools and colleges to identify and train a Designated Senior Lead for Mental Health.
  • To fund new Mental Health Support Teams, including supervision by NHS children, to provide specific extra capacity for early intervention and ongoing help.
  • To pilot a four-week waiting time for access to specialist NHS children and young people’s mental health services. 
  • The Green Paper also detailed supporting commitments, including further research to improve the evidence base, setting up a cross government partnership to look at the needs of 16-25 year olds and improving the online environment in terms of children and young people’s mental health.
  • The Government’s response to the consultation, published in July 2018, committed to taking forward all proposals in the Green Paper, with certain areas trialling the three key proposals by the end of 2019.

Implementing the Mental Health Provision - July 2019

The mental health training announced in July 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.

  • Every school, college and alternative provider will be offered mental health training as part of the Link Programme. Roll out will begin in September 2019 and all schools will be offered training within four years.
  • Training will be prioritised in areas where schools and colleges are already attached to Mental Health Support Teams. Mental Health Support teams, announced in the Government’s mental health green paper, work with schools to give children and young people earlier access to services. More information about the Link Programme can be found by clicking here.
  • The Government is providing an additional £1.4 billion up to 2020-21 to improve access to mental health services for children and young people. On top of this, it is investing an additional £300 million over the next three years to deliver the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper
  • Starting in 2019, the Government will publish a ‘State of the Nation’ report every year on World Mental Health Day, highlighting the trends and issues in young people’s mental well-being. This is the first time that children’s mental health will be reported in this way, alongside their physical health and academic attainment. More details can be found here. 
  • From 2020, pupils will receive mandatory health education lessons. This will ensure pupils are taught about the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, what determines their physical health and how to build mental resilience and well-being.
  • The lessons will also make sure children and young people learn how to recognise when they and others are struggling with mental health and how to respond. More information on the new health education lessons can be found here.