PM launches new mission to put prevention at the top of the mental health agenda

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Every new teacher will be trained in how to spot the signs of mental health issues, under a new prevention plan unveiled by the Prime Minister today (Monday 17 June).

The wide-ranging package of measures will make sure people have the confidence and skills they need to identify mental health issues before they become critical, particularly in young people.

Today’s announcement means schools, social workers, local authorities and healthcare services will receive extra support to make sure people know how to promote good mental health in the same way that they look after physical wellbeing. These measures include:

* training for all new teachers on how to spot the signs of mental health issues, backed up by updated statutory guidance to make clear schools’ responsibilities to protect children’s mental wellbeing

* support for school mental health leads so they can help children struggling with self-harm and risk of suicide

Today the Prime Minister will visit a school in South West London to meet with pupils learning about the importance of developing healthy habits for life-long good mental health.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

Too many of us have seen first-hand the devastating consequences of mental illness, which is why tackling this burning injustice has always been a personal priority for me.

It’s time to rethink how we tackle this issue, which is why I believe the next great revolution in mental health should be in prevention.

The measures we’ve launched today will make sure at every stage of life, for people of all backgrounds, preventing mental illness gets the urgent attention it deserves.

Professor Sir Simon Wessely, Chair, Independent Review of the Mental Health Act, said:

Theresa May deserves credit for drawing attention to those with the most severe mental illnesses yet who are the most overlooked.

The recommendations of the review of mental health legislation that she commissioned have been warmly welcomed from all sides but now need to be acted on.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, the mental health charity, said:

We welcome the sustained momentum from the Prime Minister and government to improving support for people with mental health problems.

It’s particularly positive to see such priority given to young people’s mental health – our recent work in schools has shown us the true scale of the need and, as most mental health problems start in childhood, decent support as early as possible is key.

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