Wefan Gymraeg

Welsh Lib Dem school mental health plans will ‘transform life chances of our youngest pupils’

Welsh Lib Dem secure school mental health funding

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have today welcomed the announcement made by Welsh Lib Dem Education Secretary Kirsty Williams that schools will receive extra investment and support to support mental health services.

Improving mental health services was a key policy featured in the Progressive Agreement between Welsh Liberal Democrat Kirsty Williams and the First Minister.

Today (Monday 25th) the Welsh Government has announced investment worth £1.4m to strengthen the support from specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to schools.

Dedicated CAMHS practitioners will be recruited to work with pilot schools in three areas across Wales.  The practitioners will provide teachers with on-site help and advice, ensuring pupils experiencing difficulties such as anxiety, low mood, and compulsive self-harm or conduct disorders receive early help in schools from suitably trained staff, preventing more serious problems occurring later in life.

Three pilots will operate covering secondary schools, middle schools and feeder primary schools in:

·    the North East (Wrexham and Denbighshire) – 104 Primary Schools, 1 Middle School, 16 secondary schools.

·    South East (Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, and south Powys) – 45 primary schools, 2 middle schools, 8 secondary schools

·    West Wales (Ceredigion) – 41 primary schools, 3 middle schools, 4 secondary schools.

 Commenting, President of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Cllr William Powell said;

 “Welsh Liberal Democrats made investing in mental health services a priority on entering government and we are delivering on that promise.

 “Investing in mental health services has long been a priority for the Welsh Liberal Democrats, recognising the emotional and mental health difficulties that children and young people face growing up and the long term impact that can have on their life chances. This leading initiative will transform the lives of young people and will ensure that our teachers feel able and confident in supporting their pupils.”

 Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams said:

 “Most young people spend a large part of their time in school, so there is a clear need for teachers to be able to help and support them should they experience difficulties in life, such as anxiety, low mood, compulsive self-harm or behaviour disorders. 

“Through this new initiative, we are making schools places that actively promote positive mental health and wellbeing, providing evidence-based prevention and early intervention where it’s needed.

“For children and young people, it will enable them to have their problems addressed earlier, before they escalate. For teachers, it will help ensure they feel able and confident in dealing with emotional distress, and know where to go to seek support.”  

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