The Green Paper ‘Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision’ published by the Department of Health and Education in December 2017 intends to deliver better prevention and earlier intervention for children and young people.

The Paper sets out three key proposals:

  • Designated Senior Leads for Mental Health in schools and colleges
  • New Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) offering help in schools and colleges
  • Testing of a new four week waiting time target for accessing Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services

What we think

Whilst welcoming the Paper’s potential to strengthen the direction already set by Future in Mind and the collaboration between Health and Education, more clarity is required about whether the proposals can deliver the ambition set.

We are concerned that schools and colleges see the proposals as a benefit rather than a burden. With the existing financial and other pressures already on schools and colleges, they must be able to rely on a network of good local services. It is also important the Paper builds on the good practice that already exists in many schools.  We also hope the new MHSTs will capitalise on a broad base of skills, qualifications and experience to ensure the sustainability and continuity of the workforce children and young people need.

Whilst we welcome testing of the new waiting time standard and its potential to bring greater transparency, more detail is needed to understand what services will be included and the level of investment to ensure good data collection.

What we’re doing

We are working with the Partnership for Wellbeing and Education in Schools and the Fair Education Alliance. To date we have run two consultation meetings with members from the three networks and will be putting together a joint report on the views expressed. CYPMHC Steering Group members will be able to comment on the report before its submission to the Department of Health and Education.