Teachers and pupils to get mental health support as schools reopen
New online resources will be rolled out to support both staff and young people as demand rises for mental health services.
Grants worth more than £750,000 have been announced for groups including the Anti-Bullying Alliance and the Anne Frank Trust.
A new £95,000 pilot project will focus on the mental health of teachers and other leaders by providing online peer support and telephone supervision.
More than £9million has already been invested in mental health charities in an effort to reduce the wider harm caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
A training module for teachers will also be published to help them deliver the new Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum, which makes mental health a compulsory part of education. A “wellbeing charter” for the teaching sector will see the Government commit to regularly measure staff wellbeing.
Paul Farmer of the mental health charity Mind said: “We cannot underestimate the long-term effects that this pandemic will have, especially on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. Wellbeing and emotional support must be available to anyone who needs it, now so more than ever.
“As the UK Government asks schools to begin to open to more children, it is crucial that we all come together to support the mental health and physical health of teachers and pupils, not just now but for the years to come.”
A new £95,000 pilot project will focus on the mental health of teachers and other leaders
Vicky Ford, the minister for children and families, said: “Schools and colleges are often a safe haven for children and young people, but the challenges we face at this time mean we are all more likely to feel anxious or sad – no matter our age or circumstances. These new resources, created with charities and health experts, will encourage confident conversations between friends, colleagues, pupils and their teachers, and improve our understanding of how to make ourselves and others feel better.”
Nadine Dorries, the minister for mental health, added: “The coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on the importance of looking after our mental health. It is very normal during these uncertain and unusual times to be experiencing distress or anxiety, or be feeling low.
“What’s important is that you get help. We know the impact on our children and young people has been especially tough, which is why as schools return we’re determined to equip teachers and pupils with the tools they need to look after their wellbeing.”