Theresa May announces new course to tackle 'devastating' teenage mental health problems
The Government has announced a new course for teenagers aimed at tackling the "devastating effect" of mental health problems.
The new package will form part of the National Citizen Service (NCS), the flagship social action programme for young people launched by David Cameron when he was prime minister.
Some 10,000 NCS staff will get new mental health training as part of the initiative, and there will be a dedicated network of NCS graduates to raise awareness of mental health issues.
Speaking ahead of A-Level results day, Theresa May said educational performance was one of a number of issues that affected young people's wellbeing.
“Mental health issues can have a devastating effect on young lives and that’s why making sure young people are fully supported both inside and outside of the classroom is a key priority for me," she said.
“It is not only the pressures of school and exams, though that is in the front of our minds today, but also self-esteem issues, struggles with home life or friendships, and getting into university or finding a job that can all affect mental wellbeing.
“We know that early intervention, along with giving young people the confidence to access support, is key - that’s where NCS plays such a vital role. NCS helps young people forge friendships across social divides and enhance their confidence and self-esteem."
The chief executive of NCS, Michael Lynas, added: "“As our country's flagship programme for sixteen year olds, we know just how important the issue of mental health is to this age group and we hope this initiative will help the next generation to live healthier and happier lives."