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Mental Health Awareness Week in the Education Sector

Government has announced how it will further support schools, colleges, and universities in supporting the mental health of students.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 (10-16 May) the education sector has announced new funding and initiatives that will support students mental health across the UK.

Government have announced more than £17 million to improve mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges, part of their commitment to build back better for every young person.

Nearly 8,000 schools and colleges in England will be offered funding worth £9.5 million to train a senior mental health lead from their staff in the next academic year, for school and college staff and to provide helpful resources.

Funding also includes a new £7 million Wellbeing for Education Recovery programme, which provides free expert training, support and resources for staff dealing with children and young people experiencing additional pressures from the last year – including trauma, anxiety, or grief.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“I know how difficult the pandemic has been for many children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and the next few months will be crucial in supporting their recovery. Getting back into the classroom was a vital step in this process but success in school and college goes beyond an excellent education – as parents we want our children to feel settled, calm and happy while they learn.”

Within the higher education sector, Universities Minister Michelle Donelan and incoming President of Universities UK Professor Steve West will jointly chair a new roundtable on suicide prevention in June. Through this they will develop and support the adoption of the Suicide Safer Universities framework and promote good practice in the sector, helping to make sure students are well supported during their time at university.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said:

“Students and university staff have faced disruption and uncertainty over the past year, and supporting their mental health and wellbeing remains a top priority.

“The Suicide Prevention roundtable with UUK is an important step in our commitment to supporting higher education providers to care for their students experiencing mental health issues, and I am proud to be a part of it. I strongly urge anyone who is struggling with mental health issues to seek help from their local NHS trust, which now provides dedicated, 24-hour support lines, including suicide prevention support.”

 

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