Children's Mental Health 'A Huge Problem', Prime Minister Outlines Action Plan

Maurice Richmond
By Maurice Richmond,
updated on Feb 22, 2018

Children's Mental Health 'A Huge Problem',  Prime Minister Outlines Action Plan

Theresa May revealed how the government intends to support children’s mental health, admitting it is a ‘huge problem’

The Prime Minister joined Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby live on the This Morning sofa today to outline the government's plans to support youngsters.

It comes following a study from the University of Manchester, which revealed the UK is in the midst of a ‘mental health crisis’ in schools and renewed calls for full time counsellors based in education.

When asked if the proposal was realistic, Mrs May acknowledged mental health provision in schools is problematic for the government.

She said: “We need to do more in mental health. I think the figure, which I found astounding, is that more than half of mental health problems start before the age of 14.

“We do need to be looking in schools, which we have already started doing this. Last year we launched a programme which is rolling out in secondary schools for ensuring that there is at least one mental health trained person in school to deal with mental health issues.”

Health minister Jeremy Hunt recently announced a £5 million scheme which would see primary school teachers receive mental health training - equating to around £300 per school.

Mr Hunt also urged social media firms to do more to combat fears online are damaging children’s mental health.

Mrs May was also pressed on why mental health counsellors aren’t in schools, and concerns on how much support £300 per school could cover.

She said: “I have seen some of these teachers being trained, what I found was that they welcomed being given this support.

“Because often, it’s the teacher the individual goes to.”

Mrs May also revealed her dismay at certain schools ‘not wanting to recognise bullying.’

She said: “You see different things happening in different schools. I have seen some who have really got the grips with this, really tackling the issue. Providing buddy schemes, so children have somebody to go to if they are getting bullied.

“But others perhaps don’t want to recognise that this is happening.”

Mrs May insisted the government is taking steps to tackle online bullying and make children safer online including a new internet safety strategy in this country.

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