Having attracted significant investment in recent years, Gloucestershire is breaking new ground when it comes to looking after the mental wellbeing of its younger residents.
Whether it’s mental health awareness and support in schools, access to information online or increasing counselling opportunities, partners are working together to make a real difference to people’s lives.
Forty-one schools have now become accredited as part of our Mental Health Champions Award scheme, which recognises their commitment to promoting good mental health for all, whilst 160 schools have worked with Facts4Life, an initiative which helps children understand that their mental wellbeing and physical health are inextricably linked and that they don’t always need medicine in order to get better.
In 2018, our bid for £5m of government funding was successful, and we are setting up four dedicated mental health support teams for 72 schools in three areas of the county. This project sees qualified health practitioners going in to the schools (which include colleges and special schools) on a regular basis from January 2020.
Everything we do is informed at every step of the way by what children and young people are telling us, and they helped us develop the On Your Mind website, a free, confidential site with lots of useful information. Since its launch, the site has had over 20,000 unique visitors.
We are also expanding the amount of online and face-to-face counselling available to children and young people and, since 2017, more than 1,700 children and young people have benefitted from this.