Five-year-olds to receive mental health support in Scotland

Be the first to comment

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans to introduce a mental well-being service for children and young people from the age of five.

nicola-sturgeon

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

It is being funded through a new £250 million package of support for mental health services over the next five years, which will focus on helping young people.

The community mental well-being service will fast-track children and young people with the most serious mental illness to get specialist help.

A proportion of the funding will also go towards placing 350 counsellors in schools and an additional 250 schools nurses, ensuring that every secondary school has a counselling service.

The commitment was announced by the First Minister in her plan for Government for 2018-19.

Ms Sturgeon said she hoped the package ‘underlines the commitment of this Government to ensuring that our health services value and support mental wellbeing just as much as physical wellbeing.’

The First Minister also announced that the Best Start Grant for low income families, which replaces the Sure Start Maternity Grant in Scotland, will be introduced before Christmas, six months earlier than planned.

The grant offers £600 on the birth of a first child, £300 on the birth of any subsequent child and £250 for each child when they start nursery and again when they start school.

Doubling Provision

Ms Sturgeon went on to reiterate plans to double the entitlement to funded early learning and childcare by 2020.

Over the next 12 months, the Scottish Government will continue to work towards constructing or refurbishing 750 nurseries, recruiting up to 11,000 additional childcare staff and publish a new National Standard for providers delivering funded places beofre the end of this year.

In a statement, Ms Sturgeon said, ‘2018 is Scotland’s year of young people - a celebration of the contribution that children and young people make to our society.

‘But the most important thing any Government can do is make sure that all of our young people have a fair chance to succeed.

‘We are striving to do that at all stages of young people’s lives.’

blog comments powered by Disqus