Oxford Mail is reporting that a pilot scheme will see the trained medical health professionals attend three primary schools in Oxfordshire from September, with the potential for the programme to be rolled out across the county.
Experts said a combination of modern pressures on children and a decreasing taboo around mental illness meant more pupils were being identified as suffering and from a younger age.
Windmill Primary School headteacher Lynn Knapp said she had seen evidence of primary-aged children self-harming and that mental health issues were more prominent than ever before.
She said: “You might see that children are withdrawn – we have had the odd child who has self-harmed, we have children whose behaviour changes; we see it across all age groups.
“We need more access to services quicker, things take so long. We could refer a child and it could be weeks or months before they see someone.”
Oxford Health spokesman Chris Kearney said: “These specially-trained mental health professionals provide direct care to young people within a school setting, offering therapy and support and work in consultation with the broader pastoral care teams to ensure young people’s emotional needs are met.”
Martin Realey, chief executive of Oxford mental health charity Restore, said: “The earlier you can intervene and support someone the more likely it is that they can recover faster.
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