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Labour pledges £845m for child mental health services

The Labour party has pledged to place a qualified counsellor in every school and over £800m for child mental health services as part of a plan to help young people’s mental health.

As part of the Healthy Young Minds plan, the party has pledged an additional £845m a year to open mental health hubs for 300,000 more children and young people to access directly.

The funding will also finance the recruitment of almost 3,500 on-site counsellors in secondary schools and a counsellor in every primary school, according to Labour’s plans.

Studies have concluded better primary care services are needed to reduce the rate of non-suicidal self-harm in young people.

Labour shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said Labour’s pledge will ensure that mental health facilities are modernised and the workforce investment will give every child ‘the mental health support they need.’

He said: ‘Improving children’s health and wellbeing is my driving mission. Today Labour is guaranteeing children will have access to specialist support in schools and communities.

‘The next Labour government will ensure mental health services are given greater priority than ever before. We will recruit more mental health nurses, increase investment in mental health services, ensure mental health facilities are modernised and give every child the mental health support they need.’

Jeremy Corbyn said: ‘Every young person deserves the support they need for their talents to flourish and to play a full and positive part in the life of the community. Our manifesto will provide the real change young people need to live happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives.’

Labour shadow minister for mental health Barbara Keeley said: ‘The government is failing young people. Too many children can’t access the mental health support they need.

‘Our young people deserve better and our country needs real change to tackle the emerging major health crisis in children’s mental health.’

It comes after a teenage boy died by suicide after his GP referral to mental health services through CAMHS was rejected.

Last year, experts warned that child mental health services are not ‘fit for purpose’.

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