mental illness - kidsOne in 10 children has a diagnosable mental health disorder - around 3 children in every classroom, according to new research.

New measures announced by Education Minister Nicky Morgan will help ensure pupils who may be suffering in silence have the support and knowledge they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, while helping their classmates to develop an understanding of the problems they’re facing.

Unveiling a step-change in the way children and young people with mental health problems are to be supported both inside and outside the classroom, Nicky Morgan announced there will be:

  • brand new guidance for schools, produced in conjunction with the PSHEAssociation, which will help schools provide age-appropriate teaching on mental health problems from anxiety and depression to eating disorders and self-harm
  • a new visionary blueprint for schools on counselling services, developed in conjunction with children and young people, which provides headteachers with practical advice on how to deliver top-quality school-based counselling services that meet the needs of those it intends to support
  • a multi-million-pound funding injection for voluntary organisations to boost support on offer for young people struggling with mental health - a new funding commitment worth £4.9 million - through the government’s voluntary and community sector funding programme also announced today

Ms Morgan, said: “As a mum myself, I know growing up today is no easy task. Young people are under more pressure than ever before in ways that are unimaginable to my generation. This is driven home to me every week when I visit schools across the country and talk to pupils about the issues affecting them - and mental health comes up time and time again.

“We send our children to school to learn life lessons both inside and outside the classroom. The new guidance published today will give teachers the confidence to teach mental wellbeing sensitively and effectively, while the lessons plans will give them the material needed to inspire them.

“There must be no trade-off between learning about mental health and academic success. By improving teaching on this subject we will help young people make sense of mental health issues and teach them how to keep themselves and others healthy.”