Mental Health Support Teams reach only a third of pupils

Five years after the launch of the government’s Mental Health Support Team (MHST) initiative, only a third of pupils are covered.

The policy has been long-criticised for its slow roll-out and the latest data published this week – Mental Health Awareness Week – by the Department for Education (DfE, 2023) shows just how far there is to go.

As of 2022/23, 28% of schools and colleges (about 6,800) are covered by a MHST and 35% of pupils.

This is projected to rise to 35% of schools and colleges and 44% of learners by April 2024.

MHSTs support the mental health needs of children and young people in primary, secondary and further education (ages 5 to 18), providing early intervention on issues such as mild to moderate anxiety. Delivery is led by the NHS with support from the DfE.

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