Association of Mental Health Providers

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Call for investment in school-based mental health support

In a joint letter to Victoria Atkins MP, Secretary of State of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Association of Mental Health Providers and other mental health, children’s, and education sector leaders called for long-term, sustainable investment in school-based mental health support. Read the coverage and find the full letter and list of signatories below.


Dear Secretary of State,

One in 5 children and young people face a probable mental health condition, a continuing rise.

A recent YouGov survey found that over 50% of children face barriers from seeking mental health support, despite struggling, because they are embarrassed, fearful or will not turn to someone they do not know.

Around half of mental health conditions develop by the age of 14, so supporting children early on is vital. Yet only 8% of NHS mental health spending goes on children’s services. The Government’s school-based Mental Health Support Teams will only reach 50% of pupils by 2025.

Place2Be, alongside other leading organisations, has worked in schools and supported children for decades, providing them with a safe place to be themselves, where they can talk in confidence with a trusted, trained mental health professional. This equips them to manage their emotional challenges and feel connected. They are also more likely to stay in education.

It is not just children who benefit. School-based mental health support relieves pressure on parents, school staff and the NHS and is proven to be cost-effective.

This Children’s Mental Health Week we must listen to young people and commit to long-term, sustainable investment in school-based support. Young people are counting on us.

Catherine Roche, CEO, Place2Be

Michael Samuel MBE, Chair, Anna Freud

Kathy Roberts, Chief Executive, Association of Mental Health Providers

Lynn Perry, CEO, Barnardos

Dr Souci Frissa, CEO, Black Thrive Global

Peter Leonard, Chief Executive, The Centre for Emotional Health

Amy Whitelock Gibbs, Chair, The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition

Jack Reynolds, Chief Executive, Football Beyond Borders

Julie Muir, Executive Director for Recovery, Forward Trust

Jacqui Dennaford, Chief Officer, Joe’s Buddy Line

Rebecca Gray, CEO, Maudsley Charity

Simon Blake, Chief Executive, Mental Health First Aid England

Victoria Hornby, CEO, Mental Health Innovations

Sir Peter Wanless, CEO, NSPCC

Lea Milligan, CEO, MQ Mental Health Research

Brian Dow, Chief Executive, Mental Health UK

Dr Sarah Hughes, CEO, Mind

Alison Unsted, CEO, MindForward Alliance

Chris Martin, CEO, The Mix

Elise Temple, Principal & Director of Education and Skills, Nacro

Jyles Robillard-Day, CEO, National Counselling & Psychotherapy Society (NCPS)

Phil Anderson, Strategic Director of External Affairs, National Children’s Bureau

Dr Lade Smith CBE, President, Royal College of Psychiatrists

Marjorie Wallace CBE, Chief Executive, SANE

Tim Coulson, Chair, Schools Wellbeing Partnership

Cassie Oakeshott, CEO, UP-Unlocking Potential

Ndidi Okezie, CEO, UK Youth

Cassandra Harrison, CEO, Youth Access

Tom Madders, Director of Communications and Campaigns, YoungMinds