Mental Health in Schools project

Schools play an important part in the emotional wellbeing of pupils.

Healthy London Partnership has been working with the Greater London Authority on a Mental Health in Schools Project to find out more about the extent of services available within schools to support children and young people with their emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Mental Health in Schools toolkit and mapping exercise

We have developed an online toolkit to provide further support for schools and commissioners. You can also read the findings from the mapping exercise.


Emotional support

There is wide variation in the services within schools to support children and young people with emotional wellbeing and mental health. These range from providing education to staff and pupils to help them recognise mental health issues and reduce the stigma associated with these, through to the direct provision of services like counselling. In a minority of areas, child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) will have direct links into schools.

Education, health and care plan

Schools and other organisations, including primary care, are also responsible for the assessment of children with special educational needs through an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. See the Code of Practice.

Every local authority area must publish a Local Offer of services to children with special educational needs and this should be available on the Council website.

Mental health support teams

A Green Paper, Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health, was published for consultation in December 2017.

This sets out the Government plan to develop Mental Health Support Teams that would be linked with schools. The current timetable to establish such teams is that they should be available in 20-25% of areas in England by 2023.

Schools should also have a Designated Senior Lead who would be responsible for the co-ordination of services for children with emotional wellbeing or mental health issues.

Local authorities

Local authorities are responsible for the public health functions of the Healthy Child Programme and they commission school nursing services. NHS England is responsible for the commissioning of immunisation and vaccination, although this is often delivered by school nursing teams. The priorities of the school nursing service may vary by local area and some schools commission additional nursing provision independently. They have a key role in promoting the emotional wellbeing of children and young people aged 5-19. If you have any questions about the school nursing service in your local authority, you should contact the Director of Public Health.

Other resources

School lesson plans for wellbeing

City and Hackney CCG together with Hackney Council and partners have developed a web resource “5 to thrive” with five simple steps that can have an impact on patients’ mental health and wellbeing. It uses material from NEF’s ‘Five ways to wellbeing’, and includes information on local events and has links to partner organisations. Within the schools section are lesson plans to support schools with implementation.