Rachel has welcomed plans to train all new teachers on how to spot the signs of mental health issues in their students.

Yesterday (June 17th), Prime Minister Theresa May announced a set of prevention measures that will make sure preventing mental illness gets the urgent attention it deserves at every stage of life.

Measures include training for all new teachers on how to spot the signs of mental health issues, backed up by updated statutory guidance to make clear schools’ responsibilities to protect children’s mental wellbeing, providing access to world-class teaching and training materials for all teachers to use in classrooms to meet the new requirements for mental health education for all primary and secondary pupils.

Around 1.2 million NHS staff will also be encouraged to take suicide prevention from the Zero Suicide Alliance; and extra funding for a support programme will help local authorities to strengthen and deliver local suicide prevention plans.

The professional standards for social workers across England will be updated to increase their knowledge and skills when helping those with mental health issues.

The support given to new parents from health visitors and other professionals to better support their babies’ behavioural and emotional development will also be modernised.

And a new breathing space scheme to provide respite from debt collection while people seek to support to help prevent the onset of mental health problems – with special access for those receiving crisis treatment.

Through the NHS Long-Term Plan, spending on mental health will increase by £2.3 billion more a year in real terms.

In welcoming the announcement, Rachel said:

“It’s my hope that one day in this country we get to a point where people talk openly about their mental health in the same way we freely talk about our physical health.

“I’ve been very open and honest about my mental health following the birth of my fourth child. It’s only by talking openly and candidly about our own experiences can we end the stigma of mental health and ensure people seek help before it’s too late.

“I’m also well aware of the pressures facing young people in our modern and technologically driven society. I saw first-hand the pressures my kids were under during exams at school, and at university, as well as the new pressures social media brought.

“Training teachers in spotting the early signs of mental health issues is just common sense, after all they will see our children every day at school and will be able to notice changes in the behaviours of their pupils. The earlier mental health issues are spotted, the more effective therapy and treatment will be.”