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NHS England has today announced that pupils struggling with mental health are to benefit from more joined up care and support across schools, colleges and specialist NHS services, in a national roll out of a £9.3 million training scheme. Locally, Sheffield has been announced as a "trailblazer" with the introduction of two new mental health support teams. 

The scheme is designed to improve partnerships with professional NHS mental health services, raise awareness of mental health concerns and improve referrals to specialist help when needed.

The four-year scheme will be led by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, backed by the multi-million-pound government investment. It builds on 1,500 schools and colleges that have already taken up this training during the pilot stage of the programme, launched in 2015.

One in nine young people aged 5 to 15 had a diagnosable mental health condition in 2017 and teenagers with a mental health disorder are more than twice as likely to have a mental disorder in adulthood. This package of measures is part of the Government’s plan to improve mental health support for children and young people, including identifying mental health issues before they become more acute.

Professor Des Breen, Medical Director for the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, said:

“We want all children and young people in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to have the best possible start in life and as a priority in the NHS Long Term Plan, how we can better support the mental health and wellbeing of our younger generation has formed a key part of our conversations with members of the public, patients and partners from across health and social care.

“I am really pleased that one of our Places has been awarded this trailblazer status. It is through schemes like this that we as health and care services are better able to support people, linking with partners in new ways to better meet people’s needs and have longer lasting impacts on people’s lives. This is just one example of some great work taking place to improve the health, care and wellbeing of people not just in Sheffield, but across the whole region.”