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Select Committee findings of Mental Health Green Paper: AoC responds

20 May 2019

In response to the Select Committee findings of the Mental Health Green Paper, David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “AoC welcomes the way in which the findings highlight the importance of education in supporting young people with mental health difficulties. Many of the findings are also in line with experiences in many of our colleges, particularly since it is clear that 75% of mental health conditions are established before the age of 24. AoC welcomes the opportunity to get involved with the group looking at the needs of those aged 16-25. “As the report outlines, it is very difficult for colleges currently to find adequate resources to support young people and help build their resilience. Post-16 education is funded significantly less per student than 11-16 schools or universities, and colleges have a higher proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds who, as the report indicates, are more likely to develop mental health challenges. We would welcome a review of 16-19 funding which recognises the additional costs of supporting large numbers of those with mental health needs. “Colleges across the country do excellent work in helping students to stay well and to support those with mental ill health, keeping people out of A&E and hospital beds. A number have strong relationships with local NHS and mental health teams. We would like to see every NHS Trust match the best in terms of partnership working with colleges. We will continue to work with Government and other partners to provide consistent support to students of all ages across England and to do our bit to prevent a growing crisis in mental health in young people and the next generation of adults.”