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Question for Department of Health

UIN HL784, tabled on 2 July 2014

To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to (1) schools, and (2) charities, that aim to reduce the occurrence of self-harming amongst teenagers.

Answered on

14 July 2014

Spotting the signs of mental health problems, including self-harming early in children and young people is essential to prevent problems from escalating and continuing into adulthood. That is why the Department invested £3 million in MindEd so that people working with children, from teachers to dinner ladies and sport coaches to Scout leaders, can recognise when a child needs help and ensure that they receive it.

MindEd is an e-portal produced by a consortium of 37 organisations which delivered the programme, headed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and including the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of General Practitioners, the British Psychological Society, the National Children's Bureau and the children's charity YoungMinds.

On 16 June 2014, the Department for Education issued advice for school staff on mental health and behaviour. This new advice links to existing advice on behaviour and discipline, which indicates that schools should consider whether continuing disruptive behaviour arises from unmet mental health needs.

The advice will help schools identify and support pupils with an unmet mental health condition. It will give teachers the confidence to:

- Differentiate between poor behaviour linked to potential mental health problems and poor behaviour which cannot be explained in this way;

- identify those with less severe problems at an early stage and build their resilience through the school's pastoral system, using external agencies where necessary; and

- identify those with more severe mental health needs and make timely referrals to statutory and/or voluntary agencies, including CAMHS.