Heads ‘calling 999 to get treatment for pupils suffering from mental health issues’

The BBC is reporting warnings from head teachers that schools are having to make 999 calls to get treatment for pupils suffering from mental health problems because of service shortages.

…Some schools are being asked to pay for services for troubled pupils that should be provided by the NHS or social services, says the ASCL heads’ union .

The government said it had ring-fenced £1.4bn for children’s mental health. 

But in evidence to the Education Select Committee, teachers, heads and bodies representing counsellors and therapists, complained of “significant problems” securing support for pupils’ mental health problems and special educational needs.

Local mental health services are no longer able to offer early support, and it was very difficult to get hold of the right professional to deal with a child’s special educational need, they said.

The committee, looking at the wellbeing and mental health of children in care, were told: “It often takes a considerable amount of time to arrange meetings and access support, and in some instances, it may be difficult to secure support.”

The delays were affecting all children and young people, not just children in care who tended to face more mental health issues, it was told.

Evidence from the NAHT, which represents primary school heads, said: “There is clearly a gap in the provision of services to support the mental health and wellbeing of looked-after children which schools are seeking to bridge.”

The Association of School and College Leaders, which represents thousands of secondary school heads, said: “Even in situations where a child needs immediate support (due to being a risk to themselves or others) Camhs (child adolescent and mental health services) may not be available.

“This means that schools and colleges are sometimes forced to either call the police or to send the child or young person to A&E to ensure they are seen by a properly trained mental health worker.

“There needs to be a much better system in place that can provide immediate support…”

More at: Heads ‘calling 999 over mental health’


Would you endorse these findings based on what you are seeing or experiencing at your/your child’s school?

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  1. peterabarnard

    SchoolsImprove We keep trying to find fixes for many problems and behaviours caused in part at least by the system we have.

  2. Busy Mum

    peterabarnard SchoolsImprove Exactly. So many of these problems are self-procured and nobody stops to ask why these problems never used to exist on such a vast scale. I suppose nobody wants to sit down and admit that we are doing something drastically wrong. The Centre for Confidence called SEAL a dangerous psychological experiment – and that was back in 2007 – nobody listened and we are reaping the results with a ‘mental health crisis’. This generation of children has been cruelly betrayed by being told to believe in themselves.

  3. Head_Limpsfield

    SchoolsImprove mental health services for these children is patchy& varies across authorities. National coordinated approach needed asap.

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