Supporting children with their emotional wellbeing and mental health is a growing priority for health services and for schools.
Healthy London Partnership has launched a Mental Health in Schools Toolkit, which provides a range of information for schools, governors and commissioners on mental health and emotional wellbeing.
The toolkit includes links to relevant guidance, practical tools and resources, and examples from across London of new initiatives and approaches in schools or across local authorities.
Mental health in schools mapping exercise
One in eight children aged 5-15 are estimated to have a diagnosable mental health problem at any one time. It is estimated that 75% of enduring mental health disorders have commenced by the age of 18.
The extent of services available within schools to support children and young people with their emotional wellbeing and mental health was explored as part of the Mental Health in Schools Project, a joint enterprise between Healthy London Partnership and the Greater London Authority over the summer of 2018.
The mapping exercise of services was conducted through Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), local authorities and mental health provider trusts. The findings showed that in the majority of areas that submitted a response, there is evidence of a considerable range of activity to support emotional wellbeing and mental health within schools. However, the report also a noted variation in the level of knowledge and awareness of services provided and commissioned by schools within a CCG and Local Authority.
Providing support to schools and commissioners
To provide support and increase knowledge and awareness of services for schools and commissioners, we developed a Mental Health in Schools Toolkit in partnership with the GLA. The toolkit will be maintained and updated as method of sharing information.
Commenting on the launch of the Mental Health in Schools Toolkit, Tracy Parr, Healthy London Partnerhsip’s Director of Transformation and Children and Young People lead, said:
“We encourage school leaders and staff, health care professionals and commissioners to use the Mental Health in Schools Toolkit for a wide range of information and guidance on how to promote emotional wellbeing and mental health within schools.
“The extent and detail in the Mental Health in Schools Project mapping report means that there is a significant advance in the information available on what activity is taking place within schools. We are extremely grateful for all of the assistance that we had in compiling the information. It is because of this rich information that we have been able to develop a toolkit which now provides a ‘one stop shop’ on relevant guidance, practical tools and resources, and examples from across London of new initiatives and approaches in schools or across local authorities.
“To further enhance this work, we have also been working with Young Minds’ Amplified programme to engage with young Londoners to see what support they would like to see in schools in the future. It is through partnership working that we will tackle London’s most complex health and care issues and improve the health outcomes of children and young people.”