In December 2017, the Government introduced a Green Paper which set out new plans to improve support for children and young people in mental health services, schools and colleges.
As part of a public consultation, the Department of Health and Social Care, asked us to carry out engagement with young people (aged 11-18) to find out what they thought of the plans.
We carried out a number of focus groups in schools across the country and reported our findings back to the Department, to ensure that the views of young people were considered as part of the consultation.
What we asked
We asked the young people who took part in the focus groups what they thought of the three core proposals included in the Green Paper. The three core proposals from the Green Paper are:
- Designated Senior Leads for Mental Health – the Department for Education will provide funding so that every school and college can train a designated lead for mental health.
- Mental Health Support Teams – new teams will be trialled in up to a quarter of the country by 2022/23. The teams will link to schools and colleges, and will provide support to children with mental health problems, make referrals to specialist services, and provide advice and support to teachers and other professionals who work with children.
- Waiting Time Standards – a new four waiting time for CAMHS will be tested in some trailblazer areas throughout the country by 2022/23.
What young people told us
In general, the young people who took part in the focus groups reported the following:
- They thought that the proposals were welcome, but were concerned about the long timeframes for introducing the changes. They thought that urgent improvements are needed now.
- They felt there needed to be an additional focus around the causes of mental ill health, and particularly raised the stress caused by schools.
- They believed that young people should be involved in the implementation of the proposals, as they felt the participation of young people would improve the effectiveness of the new measures.
- They believed that there is an important role for peer support within schools as part of a complete support offer.
The Government has now responded to the feedback they received as part of the public consultation. You can read the Government's full response here.