With the recent implementation of the new government policyand the advancement of systems in secondary schools, we would expect there to a rise in the amount ofmental health education that is now offered. Showing a few of the currentimprovements that have already been taking place since the mental healthgovernment policy reform in 2010, teachers in secondary schools around thecountry now have to take part in a ‘compulsory new training programme’ (Morgan, N. 23rd Nov 17) to help them identify and respond to early signsof mental health issues in children. ‘In January 2017, the Prime Ministerunveiled further plans to transform mental health support which included newsupport for schools with every secondary school in the country to be offeredmental health first aid training and new trials to look at how to strengthenthe links between schools and local NHS mental health staff. There will also bea major thematic review of children and adolescent mental health servicesacross the country, led by the Care Quality Commission, to identify what isworking and what it not.
‘ (Morgan,N. 23rd Nov 17). TheMental Health Act- The Current Government Policy’TheMental Health Act was first introduced in 1983 (further amended in 2007) andsets out how you can be treated if you have a mental disorder, and what yourrights are. The Mental Health Act says what legal powers doctors and ApprovedMental Health Professionals (AMHPs) have to detain you in a hospital againstyour will’ (NHS Foundation Trust03 January 2018).The doctors involved will either already know you (such as your GP) or beapproved under Section 12 of the Mental Health Act. The role of thedoctors is to make recommendations for an application to be assessed. The roleof the Approved Mental Health Professional is to ensure that an application tobe assessed is necessary and that no ‘less restrictive’ (NHS Foundation Trust. Mental Health Act.
03 January 2018) form ofintervention can be used. The doctors and Approved Mental Health Professionalwill consider making an application for keeping you in hospital against yourwill, if it is felt that you may cause injury to yourself or others and if itis felt that you may not necessarily be aware enough to access the propermedical care required. It lays down what doctors and Approved Mental HealthProfessionals can and can’t do and what rights you and your relatives have’ (NHS Foundation Trust. Mental Health Act. 03January 2018.)In the UK we arecurrently following the Mental Health Act of 2007, in the new act there havebeen several key changes from the 1983 Mental Health Act, which laiddown the provisions for the essential confinement of patients suffering withmental health problems and also the actions required to be taken for patientswithin the surrounding area of England and Wales.
Whereas the 1983 MentalHealth Act focused on reinforcement of patients’ rights to seek independentreviews of their treatment, the 2007 Mental Health Act is largely concentratedon public protection and risk management. The amended legislation extends thepowers of compulsion and introduces compulsory community treatment orders,making patients’ compliant with treatment of a statutory requirement. There arealso changes to the roles of professionals – for example, the title of approvedsocial worker is being replaced by ‘approved mental health professional’ (NHS Foundation Trust 03 January 2018.
) ,allowing members of other professions to make assessments and referrals for thefirst time. However, much of the framework of referrals and treatment remainsthe same. After a lengthy consultation period, a code of practice was publishedin advance of the 2007 Mental Health Act coming into force on 3 November 2008.How schools are reacting to this policy (Created on the 05 January 2018, following the data from the care quality commission.
) Due to the policy nor being directly reinforced in all schools theyare able to decide on the provision of mental health support for their pupils.Schools are not required to report centrally on the services they provide, butit has been estimated that 70% of secondary schools and 52% of primary schoolsin England offer counselling services. A recent survey I completed allowed meto see that 1 in every 5 people asked from secondary schools were completelyunaware this support was offered within there school. The Government is nowaiming to increase the number of teaching hours dedicated to the education ofmental health in schools, as well as improving access to mental health supportin schools and referrals to more specialist services (Care Quality Commission, October 2017, p23).
It is the UK average that around 50% of mental illnesscases through the NHS start before the very young age of fifteen and 75% hasstarted by the age of eighteen. ‘According to the last ONS prevalence survey,in 2004, around 10% of children between five and sixteen had a clinicallydiagnosed mental disorder.’ Teachers are often amongst the first to notice if apupil has mental health issues as well as being the people to whom parents aremost likely to turn when they suspect something may be wrong. (House of Commons.
(2016). Education and Health Committees, 05thJan 2017)The Government have recently reiterated that’although schools play an important part in promoting mental wellbeing,teachers are not mental health professionals, and need backing from a range ofspecialised services’ (PQ 501 onschools: mental health, 4 July 2017). In recent years since the 2012 Health and Social Care Actbeing introduced the Government has ‘legislated for parity of esteem betweenmental and physical health.’ (Morgan, N. 23rd Nov 17).
Since this taking action there has been work to strengthen partnerships betweeneducation providers and mental health services, through a ‘new pilot linkingschools with single points of contact’ in child and adolescent mental healthservices (CAMHS). The Government has said the child and adolescent mentalhealth service has led to improvements in higher quality and more timelyreferrals to specialist services for pupils. The child and adolescent mentalhealth services initially reached 255 schools, and within time hopes toextended to 1,200 schools (PQ 501 onschools: mental health, 4 July 2017).