Students studying at South Essex College and Chelmford College campuses will be among the first to benefit from the ambitions of the Government's Green paper for Transforming Children and Young People's Mental Health.
The colleges are included in a successful bid which will see the Mid and South Essex Sustaininability and Transformation Partnership (STP) selected as an NHS Trailblazer area to receive additional investment to develop Mental Health Support Teams for Schools and Colleges.
The Mid and South Essex STP is a partnership of the 14 NHS organisations and councils responsible for the health and wellbeing of residents in the region. Basildon and Brentwood CCG is among its constituent organisations.
New Mental Health Support Teams will work with colleges across the Mid and South Essex STP area to provide early intervention for concerns such as anxiety, low mood and behavioural difficulties as well as strengthening links with more specialist services. Schools in Thurrock and Southend will also be part of the programme.
Mark Tebbs, Lead Commissioner for Mental Health across Mid and South Essex Clinical CCGs, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to collectively build strong partnerships between mental health services and schools and to expand resources so that we can support our children and young people to achieve their full potential. Half of all cases of diagnosable mental illness begin by age 14 and three-quarters by the age of 25. Early intervention and prevention is crucial to prevent problems escalating further into adulthood.”
The Link Programme led by Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and funded by the Department for Education will further strengthen this opportunity across the STP by working with all local schools/colleges and mental health services so that children and young people can get the help they need, when they need it.
The NHS Long Term Plan will build on the achievements of the £1.4bn transformation programme to improve NHS mental health care for children and young people. The NHS is on track to provide mental health support for 70,000 more children and young people by 2021 and aims to ensure that by 2023/24 at least a further 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 can access support, including via NHS funded mental health services and school or college-based Mental Health Support Teams. Over the coming decade the goal is to ensure that 100% of children and young people who need specialist care can access it.