Theresa May vows to tackle mental health

Prime Minister (PM) Theresa May has vowed to improve support for teachers to spot mental health problems in children early.

Mrs May recently announced plans to “transform” attitudes to mental health, with a focus on children and young people.

The government will ensure there is additional training for teachers and an extra £15m for community care. In addition, there will be measures to improve support in the workplace.

Mental health experts said more funding was needed to improve services.

The PM’s speech comes as she outlined her plans to create a “shared society”.

According to government statistics, one in four people have a mental disorder at some point in their life. The reported annual cost to the national health service is £105bn.

Figures show young people are affected disproportionately with over half of mental health problems starting by the age of 14 and 75% by 18.

Within the plans, every secondary school is to be offered mental health first aid training. This will teach people how to identify symptoms and help people who may be developing a mental health issue.

By 2021, no child will be sent away from their local area to receive treatment for mental health issues.

She also said the government would appoint a team to carry out a review on improving support in the workplace. Mental health campaigner Lord Stevenson and Paul Farmer, chief executive of the charity Mind will spearhead this.

Employers and organisations will be given additional training in supporting staff who need to take time off.

There will also be more focus on community care such as crisis cafes and local clinics, with an extra £15m towards this.

Also included is the reallocation of £67.7m, mostly from the existing NHS digitisation fund, for online services, such as allowing symptom checks before getting a face-to-face appointment.

Mental health charity Sane said the plans needed to “be matched by substantially increased funds to mental health trusts”.

Meanwhile, Mind said it was “important to see the prime minister talking about mental health”. She added, however, that the proof would be in the difference it made to patients’ day-to-day experiences.

TNT Health

Photo Credit: ukhomeoffice

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