NCPS | NCPS Releases New Report Shedding Light on Challenges in…

26% of the nation's children lack access to mental health support that experts believe is a vital component of mental health support provision.

These are the findings of new research undertaken by NCPS. Working in collaboration with TAC Access - a free-to-use online counselling directory founded by two teachers, NCPS can reveal that counsellors play a key role in supporting the mental health of children and young people across a variety of education settings UK-wide, but that this support is offered inconsistently to the detriment of learners. The report proposes a range of solutions and urges stakeholders in education and mental health sectors to adopt its recommendations for a more inclusive and effective mental health care environment in schools.

The report, based on extensive research and data analysis, outlines the disparities in access to adequate mental health support for young people in education, and demonstrates the critical need for counselling services in educational settings to be better recognised and expanded. The findings in the report demonstrate the critical importance of counselling/psychotherapy within educational settings, despite its current lack of recognition at a policy level.

The paper proposes a number of ways in which we could improve mental health support provision in educational establishments, ranging from low-cost interventions to comprehensive policy reforms, all aimed at improving mental health support across each different educational level. It highlights the need for a unified approach that recognises the unique mental and emotional health challenges faced by children and young people today.

This report is a timely reminder of the opportunities for policymakers, given the current challenges facing children and young people around lengthy waiting times for support and high thresholds for access to support via CAMHS.

Meg Moss, Head of Policy & Public Affairs at NCPS, says, “Despite the proven efficacy of counselling and psychotherapy for children and young people, these services remain underutilised and undervalued at a policy level, and, given the mental health crisis that children and young people are currently facing, it’s clearly time for a concerted effort to rectify this oversight and ensure that every child has access to the mental health support they need.”

Julian Rose, Co-Founder of TAC Access, says, “TAC Access is pleased to have collaborated with NCPS on this important research. As time-served teachers, we established our service to address the yawning gap in provision that the NCPS research reveals.”

The report identifies key areas for improvement, including the need for increased funding, better training for MHSTs, and a more cohesive approach to integrating mental health support within the educational curriculum. It proposes a range of solutions from low-cost interventions to comprehensive, systemic changes that would significantly improve mental health outcomes for students.

The NCPS urges stakeholders in education and mental health sectors to consider the report's recommendations seriously, aiming to foster a more inclusive, supportive, and effective environment for mental health care within schools.

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