The Green Paper
The Government is asking people for their views on its Green Paper for children and young people’s mental health. The Green Paper lists its plans for the next few years.
The proposals include:
- Schools and colleges will appoint a Designated Lead for Mental Health who will oversee their approach to mental health and wellbeing. This will happen across the country by 2025. Some schools will also be able to bid for extra funding to promote wellbeing, and every child will learn about mental health as part of PSHE and RSE lessons.
- Mental Health Support Teams will be set up in local areas to support children with mild to moderate mental health issues. They will work with schools and colleges and link with specialist CAMHS services. These teams will be introduced in about a quarter of areas in the next five years.
- Waiting time targets will be introduced for CAMHS. This would mean a maximum of four weeks waiting time. The waiting time targets will be piloted in a few areas to start with, and cover up to a quarter of the country in the next five years.
Questions to Answer
The consultation includes a lot of questions, including some on technical details that may not be relevant to you. You can skip as many questions as you like.
We think some of the main questions to answer are:
Q1. Do the proposals meet the right balance for a) schools/colleges; b) NHS services? (250 words)
What do you think of the plans overall? How much difference do you think they will make? Are they happening soon enough or widely enough? What would you change about them?
The proposals are a step in the right direction, but they don’t go far enough. Mental Health Support Teams and waiting time targets will be rolled out across just a quarter of the country in the next five years. They need to be rolled out across the whole country, and they need to happen much more quickly.
The government also needs to invest more money in specialist services. Under current funding plans, just 1 in 3 young people with mental health problems will get support from CAMHS by 2020. It would be considered outrageous if the NHS was treating just 1 in 3 children with serious physical injuries, so we need to see proper long-term investment to make sure that every child gets the support they need.
Q13. How can we make sure that support teams work well to support vulnerable groups of Children and Young People?
Who are the children who might not be able to get help from Mental Health Support Teams? What could be done to make it easier for them to get help?
Children who’ve had difficult childhoods or traumatic experiences are more likely to experience mental health problems, and all professionals who work with children – both in schools and other local services – need to have enough knowledge about trauma to give effective support and signpost them to the right services.
In general, the plans do not focus enough on preventing mental health problems occurring in the first place. There needs to be a greater focus on what schools, support teams and other community services can do to promote good mental health.
If you have had positive experiences, we would also suggest answering:
Q4. Do you know of any good examples of services that we can learn from that work in a similar way to MH Support teams (250 words)
What is your experience of getting mental health support through schools or local charities? Is there anything you’ve seen that’s worked really well?
Q10. Do you know of any good examples of local areas that are reducing waiting times we can learn from?
Did you get fast support from your local CAMHS? Did the CAMHS service work well with your doctor or with your school? What did they do well, and what can the government learn from that?