Outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May will announce a raft of measures aimed at putting prevention at the top of Britain’s mental health agenda.
The new plan will see every new teacher in the country receive training in how to spot the signs that a young person is struggling with their mental health and all 1.2 million NHS staff will be encouraged to take suicide prevention.
“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,” the prime minister will say when she launches the scheme later on Monday.
“But we should never accept a rise in mental health problems as inevitable. 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.”
Further plans to increase public awareness around looking after mental health include a new national awareness campaign called Every Mind Matters, which will be launched in October.
“We know that across the country the number of young people experiencing mental health problems has gone up from one in 10 to one in eight,” said Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity MIND.
“There is a real urgent need to address the scale of the issues. Theresa May needs to hand the baton on to the next prime minister and sustain this momentum. It’s a task for the generation to come.”
Mental health campaigner Katie Scott, 21, from Berkshire suffered with anorexia and depression in her teenage years and told Sky News she welcomes the announcement.
“It’s definitely a step forward in terms of helping young people,” said Katie, who has just completed the second year of a four-year degree in food technology and nutrition.
“At times, people who are struggling and are being so secretive are looking for someone to notice. I know that at times I thought that what I was doing was obvious and I was looking for someone to realise I wasn’t OK.
“If teachers are trained to notice then that will be very beneficial to people going through similar situations.”
From 2020 parents will also get access through the campaign to targeted advice on how to deal with issues like stress, online bullying and self-harm.
Also Read : No-deal Brexit: What you need to know