Last week, it was announced that mental health projects in England will receive £55 million from lottery funds to support young people.
On average, three children in every classroom have a clinically diagnosable mental health condition - with 90% of head teachers reporting an increase in mental health issues over the last five years.
Authorities in Blackpool, Kent and Newham in London have each been awarded £10 million to "spot the early signs" and council-led schemes in Cornwall and Wolverhampton were each granted nearly £9 million, while £7.8 million will go towards a five-year project in Hull.
The six schemes were chosen from a pilot project, known as HeadStart, which was set up two years ago when 12 areas were awarded funding between £400,000 and £900,000 to develop long-term plans.
HeadStart is an initiative that brings together charities, health commissioners, parents, teachers, GPs, young people and local authorities. It helps young people from the age of 10 to 16, and aims to equip youngsters with the ability to cope with the pressures of modern life, and prevent them from experiencing common mental health problems.
Lyn Cole, Big Lottery Fund (BLF) grant-making director, said: "Mental health issues in early teens, if not tackled early, can develop into more serious conditions, impacting on school results and opportunities later on in life. This funding will make a huge difference to the development of young people at a crucial time in their lives.
“HeadStart has been developed with young people to ensure that mental health is embedded in a school's culture and pupils' emotional welfare is recognised as fundamental to their overall achievement. This will raise awareness, tackle stigma and enable young people to seek the support they need when they have problems and are under stress.”
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