Ministers have been accused of failing to grasp the “tidal wave” of mental ill health blighting children’s lives, after research found that only a quarter of English primaries will be able to offer vital school-based support by the end of next year.
With almost one in five pupils aged 7 to 16 now thought to have a mental health disorder, specialist support teams were set up to work with children in schools, addressing early symptoms and reducing pressure on overstretched NHS services.
According to new figures shared exclusively with the Guardian, however, pupils in almost three-quarters (73.4%) of primary schools in England will have had no access to the new mental health support teams (MHSTs) by the end of 2024.
The research follows reports that a quarter of a million children in the UK with mental health problems have been denied help by the NHS, with some trusts failing to offer treatment to 60% of those referred by GPs.
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Source: The Guardian, 9 June 2023