The NHS will work with schools and colleges to make expert mental health support available to a population of more than 470,000 children and young people across England.

The new mental health support teams will be based in and near schools and colleges in 25 areas and will start giving support in 2019.

Each designated team will support up to 8,000 children and young people in around 20 schools and colleges in their ‘trailblazer’ area.

Mental health support teams will:

  • build on support already in place from school counsellors, nurses, educational psychologists and the voluntary sector
  • support children and young people with mild to moderate mental health issues
  • help children and young people with more severe needs to access the right support, and provide a link to specialist NHS services

The Department for Education will also fund training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges to ensure a ‘whole school’ approach to mental health and wellbeing.

The first mental health support teams will begin their training in January 2019 at 7 universities nationwide.

The trailblazer sites will be set up in between one-fifth and one quarter of the country by 2023 to 2024.

One in nine young people aged 5 to 15 had a mental health condition in 2017. Teenagers with a mental disorder are more than twice as likely to have a mental disorder in adulthood.

Plans for further expansion of children and young people’s mental health services will be set out in the NHS long-term plan.