Hundreds of children and young people will learn how to use a range of innovative techniques to promote good mental health through one of the largest studies in the world of its kind. GOV.UK reports.
To mark Children’s Mental Health Week (4-10 February), the Education Secretary Damian Hinds announces that up to 370 schools in England will take part in a series of trials testing different approaches to supporting young people’s mental health.
Children will benefit from mindfulness exercises, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to help them regulate their emotions, alongside pupil sessions with mental health experts. The study will run until 2021 and aims to give schools new, robust evidence about what works best for their students’ mental health and wellbeing.
Mr Hinds also confirmed the nine areas across the country that will trial new high-quality mental health assessments for young people entering care, helping them get the support they need to meet their individual needs at a time when they are more vulnerable.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “Schools and teachers don’t have all the answers, nor could they, but we know they can play a special role which is why we have launched one of the biggest mental health trials in schools. These trials are key to improving our understanding of how practical, simple advice can help young people cope with the pressures they face.”
Led by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in partnership with University College London, the school study is now in its second wave and recruiting more primary and secondary schools to join.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I’m incredibly excited by this initiative, which will help young people better understand their mental health and identify when they need to ask for help sooner.”
The mental health assessment pilots, also run by the Anna Freud Centre, will look at providing improved mental health assessments for children entering the care system. Currently an estimated half of all children in care meet the criteria for a possible mental health disorder, compared to one in ten children outside the care system, so these pilots – backed by £1 million announced last year – will identify the mental health and broader wellbeing needs of these children, including whether a referral to a more specialist service is needed.
Read more about the trials One of the largest mental health trials launches in schools.
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