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18.04.16

HEE distributes innovation funding to improve young people’s mental health services

New funding has been awarded to NHS trusts, CCGs and charities working to improve mental health care for children and young people by Health Education England (HEE).

The £3m Innovation Fund has been distributed to 35 organisations, following a government drive to make mental health care a priority.

Grants include £175,545 to the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust in Reading to help improve its pastoral outreach to families and providing staff for early intervention; £45,000 for a Hampshire Children and Adult Mental Health Services ‘Mind Your Head’ campaign; £127,000 for Nottinghamshire County Council to promote stress reduction techniques for children and families; and £71,100 for Swindon Borough Council to support parents and carers of young people with mental health issues.

Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, director of nursing and deputy director of education and quality at HEE, said: “It is pleasing that we a wide range of organisations, from a variety of sectors involved, so that there is fresh, new thinking from people who work each day in their communities with vulnerable young people. That local involvement is important as we need to help to provide greater access to the services that can make a difference to young lives.”

Services for disabled young people were a particular focus, with £12,353 awarded to the Hearing Services department of Sheffield Children’s Hospital; £116,531 for the Health Council for Disabled Children to launch an expert parent programme; and £5,135 to allow East Lancashire CCG to create a Learning Disability Health Passport and ‘About Me’ cards for children and young people.

A report last year said that a ‘complete overhaul’ of young people’s mental health services was needed.

Alistair Burt, minister for mental health, said: “I am proud that this government is delivering on its commitment to young people. This new funding will mean people who deal with young people every day, such as healthcare and school staff, can be trained to better support them and also that young people will be able to provide peer to peer support.

“We know that 'more of the same' is not an option - this is building on the NHS’ five year plan for mental health and is part of the biggest transformation to young people's mental health with one of the greatest investments the sector has seen.”

Health services in Birmingham also recently launched a new initiative to provide comprehensive mental health coverage for 0-25 year olds in the city.

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