Children and young people with mental health needs are set to be given extra support in schools across Leeds.
Pupils will be given access to a specialist project which helps to develop their emotional wellbeing and support mental health provision in the classroom.
Leeds City Council’s Targeted Mental Health in Schools (TaMHS) Project, which has been successfully piloted in over 120 schools in the city, will be rolled out across the city to provide youngsters with easier access to mental health professionals.
The scheme works with school age children and young people to improve their emotional well-being and mental health by intervening earlier and tackling problems faster.
Figures show that one in 10 children, aged between five and 16, has a mental health problem and many continue to have problems from childhood into adulthood.
Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services, said that it is important to offer support children’s emotional well-being in the classroom.
She said: “It’s vital that we recognise how important a child’s emotional well-being and mental health are for their education and development.
“By rolling this out city-wide means even more children and young people will be able to access the help they need.”
She added that schools and teachers are well-placed to spot the signs if there are any difficulties that children are facing in the classroom.
Coun Blake said: “Schools are well-placed to spot difficulties as they arise but sometimes in the past staff have felt they lacked the expertise to deal with emotional and mental health issues and referrals for specialist help could take time.
“The beauty of this project is that it gives school staff the skills and support to deal with many of the issues themselves but specialist mental health professionals are also available so children who need this help can get it much faster.”
Funding from the council’s children’s services, NHS Leeds and School’s Forum has been sourced to expand the successful project into all schools in Leeds.
Under Leeds’ Children and Young People’s Plan, which was launched two years ago, two of the main priorities are to ensure that children in the city are safe from harm and doing well in learning.