Labour promise to employ mental health counsellors in every secondary school

11 November 2019, 09:58

Mr Corbyn wants to give children "happier, healthier lives"
Mr Corbyn wants to give children "happier, healthier lives". Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Jeremy Corbyn has pledged £845 million per year towards providing every secondary school with a counsellor to help young people live "healthier lives."

The Labour Party plans to recruit 3,500 on-site mental health workers for secondary schools across England and will ensure primary schools receive at least one visit from a counsellor each week.

Under the Healthy Young Minds plan, Mr Corbyn's party hope to tackle what it says to be the increasing issue of children experiencing mental health problems.

"Almost every day someone talks to me about the terrible stresses a child or young person they know are going through," the Labour leader said.

"Mental health workers do incredible work but our society is fuelling mental illness on a huge scale and our young people are not getting the support they need.

"As a country, we have to start treating mental health as seriously as physical health."

Roughly 95 per cent of teachers believe one of their class has experienced anxiety
Roughly 95 per cent of teachers believe one of their class has experienced anxiety. Picture: PA

Labour vowed to create drop-in networks where children can seek support regarding their mental health, as well as open access mental health hubs that would provide 300,000 more children with direct assistance.

Data from the NHS indicates one in eight five to 19-year-olds with at least one mental health disorder in 2017, while an estimated 60 per cent of teachers believe they have taught a child who was self-harming.

Mr Corbyn warned of storing up problems for future generations if young people were failed today.

He added: "[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."

Shadow Health Secretary Barbara Keeley echoed the Labour leader's words, saying children "deserve better."

"The Government is failing young people. Too many children can't access the mental health support they need," she said.

Mr Corbyn wants to prevent problems arising in future generations
Mr Corbyn wants to prevent problems arising in future generations. Picture: PA

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

Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson also promised to "transform" mental health services and provisions that are "integral to our wellbeing."

She said: "[We have] a plan to give every child the best start in life, providing the resources to recruit thousands more teachers and funding free childcare from nine months.

"It is a plan that will tackle the climate emergency, to make sure the planet we live on is protected for future generations."

Meanwhile, the Conservatives have pledged to amend the Humans Rights Act in order to end unfair trials of veterans.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the Tories' plan to protect troops from prosecution is not an "amnesty" and is instead "about repeated and vexatious claims."