The CCG has been successful in applying to become of the first trailblazers for new Mental Health Support Teams who will work across 37 schools across north Kent, including Dartford, Gravesham, Swanley, providing expert support and links to NHS services.

The CCG’s GP lead for mental health, Dr Kapil Manha, said: “We hope that by becoming a trailblazer, Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley will lead the way in providing more support and integrated working within schools and bring to life our belief that young minds matter.”

“Schools are a crucial factor in children and young people’s mental health. Strengthening the mental health training within schools will help teachers spot warning signs earlier and allow young people quicker access to vital support services. This is vital considering that one in nine young people aged five to 15 had a mental health condition in 2017 and teenagers with a mental disorder are more than two and a half times more likely to have a mental disorder in adulthood.”

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock spoke about the new initiative: “Children and young people with mental illness should receive the same level of support as those with physical illness. Made possible by the extra £20.5 billion we are investing in the NHS, today’s announcement will see the health and education systems come together so our children can access the help they need at school and takes us a step closer to achieving our goal of parity between mental and physical health.”

The MHSTs will work closely with primary school, secondary schools and colleges to support young people with mild to moderate mental health issues. They will help those with more severe needs to access the right support. The first cohort of new staff will begin their training in January 2019.

www.dartfordgraveshamswanleyccg.nhs.ukd

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