teacher 2The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust (CWMT) has been awarded a major share of a £3 million government fund to help schools support young people with mental health issues. 

CWMT will benefit from £175,545 from the Department of Health and Health Education England’s mental health Innovation Fund, which provides training in the healthcare and education sector to promote mental wellbeing among children and young people. The CWMT was amongst some 35 NHS trusts, clinical commissioning groups, charities and local authorities that received funding. 

The money will help provide face-to-face training to more than 1,000 staff in 60 schools in Wiltshire, Medway and Brighton. It will also fund online training for staff in Shropshire and Somerset and be available as an online resource for teachers throughout the UK. Training will be rolled out from September.

Last year, CWMT delivered 300 talks and training sessions to schools in the UK, reaching more than 21,000 pupils, parents and teachers. The charity also provides training to GPs, nurses and school support staff as well as line managers in the work place to help promote mental wellbeing. 

Clare Stafford, chief executive of the CWMT, said: “Mental health issues – which can range from depression and anxiety, self-esteem issues, eating disorders or self-harm – are sadly rising amongst young people. This funding really will help us make a difference by upskilling teachers and support staff to help recognise the warning signs, support young people, and know when they need to make a referral to wider services.” 

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Schemes such as this represent another step in fulfilling our promise to establish genuine parity between mental and physical health. We want to end the taboo around mental health – funding local innovations like the Health and Wellbeing Passport is the best way to make this a reality and help more young people than ever before.”

Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, director of nursing and deputy director of education and quality at Health Education England, added: “We are excited by this initiative as it will provide an ideal opportunity to introduce and enhance services to transform the lives of children and young people.

“This additional funding means that children, young people and their families can get the tailored support they need through the delivery of improved, more accessible mental health and wellbeing services to ensure they are not only well-supported, but thrive, which will transform the care and lives of many across the country.”