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‘Redbridge schools must play crucial role in tackling mental health issues’

PUBLISHED: 07:01 14 January 2019

An officer from mental health charity Place2Be talking to students. Photo by Place2be

An officer from mental health charity Place2Be talking to students. Photo by Place2be

Archant

Schools must play a crucial role in tackling mental health issues, according to a charity fighting to tackle the illness.

Dr Patrick Johnston, director of learning and practice at Place2Be. Photo by Place2BeDr Patrick Johnston, director of learning and practice at Place2Be. Photo by Place2Be

All schools will be required to include mental health and wellbeing in their curriculums by 2022, according to Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget announcement, highlighting the increasing onus placed on teachers to support suffering students.

Place2Be works to provide mental health support in Redbridge schools, allowing professionals to reach children who need help at the earliest stage, before problems grow and become more complex.

Dr Patrick Johnston, director of learning and practice at Place2Be, said: “One in nine school-age children have a diagnosable mental health disorder, and even more will be affected by challenging circumstances such as bereavement, family breakdown or bullying.

“Providing high quality mental health support in schools is a really effective way to make services easily accessible, and allows professionals to reach children who need help at the earliest stage, before problems grow and become more complex.”

Redbridge has recently established the Emotional Well Being and Mental Health Service (EWMHS) which joins schools, social services and voluntary agencies to support children and young people who may suffer with mental health issues, but the council doesn’t want to rest on its laurels when it comes to mental health.

A council spokesman said: “From January, the EWHMS will also have specialist mental health workers in youth offending and prevention services and within Looked after Children (LAC) teams to help the emotional and mental wellbeing for some of the most vulnerable children and young people in our communities.

“We will continue to ensure that children and young people are aware of and have access to the mental health services available in Redbridge.”

Redbridge’s EWHMS, which signposts the services available, provides advice and directs to self-help information including digital support, is available at the specialist community health services for children and young people at The Grove, Grove Road, Chadwell Heath (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), or by calling 0300 555 2281.

For more information on Place2Be go to place2be.org.uk.

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