MPs will debate next month whether mental health education should become compulsory in school.

A debate will take place on November 6 after a petition co-ordinated by the Shaw Mind Foundation reached the 100,000 signature threshold required to trigger a debate in parliament.

Mental health awareness is growing among teachers because this year, for the first time, every school needs to train at least one teacher in mental health first aid, after £200,000 was provided by the government to this end.

However children themselves are not currently required to receive mental health education. 

The Anna Freud Centre produced an awareness video for young children last month, supported by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Growing support from parents

The success of the petition reflects growing support for children to receive greater mental health education before problems manifest, with 50 percent of conditions known to present by age 14.

A YouGov poll commissioned by the Shaw Mind Foundation found that 79% of British parents believe children should be taught more about mental health in schools.

The Shaw Mind Foundation say today's news marks the first time in British history that a mental health charity has reached 100,000 signatures on the Government Petition website.

'Give adequate weight to the subject'

Adam Shaw, founder of the Shaw Mind Foundation, said: "It is essential that we improve mental health education in schools to reduce the taboo around conditions such as OCD, anxiety, depression, eating disorders and others."

"Teachers and schools deserve the support and investment necessary to tackle mental health properly. This can only be achieved if mental health education is compulsory and the government commits to funding it properly. Responsibility should not lie solely with teachers and schools. They should be supported."

"So far, mental health education as a small part of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) lessons has failed to give adequate weight to the subject, and it is not taught uniformly across the country."

"We urge people to encourage their local MP to attend the debate on Monday 6th November."