January 11, 2017
Burnham-On-Sea mental health charity welcomes PM's reforms

A Burnham-On-Sea charity offering mental health support in the area has given a cautious welcome to reforms announced by the Prime Minister this week.

Plans to "transform" attitudes to mental health, with a focus on children and young people, have been unveiled by Theresa May. Additional training for teachers, an extra £15m for community care, and improved support in the workplace were among the measures announced this week.

Jo Clement, pictured, who runs the Burnham-based group 'In Charley's Memory' after her son Charley took his own life in 2014, told "Having reviewed what the PM said about mental health we are cautiously optimistic."

"We think rolling a programme into schools is a very good idea, which is something here at the charity we have been doing over the past year."

"We already train not only adults from all professions in mental health first aid but have also trained a number of young people from schools and further educational establishments in this same course too. We've experienced first hand the positive impact this has had and plan on continuing to run this on a regular basis."

"Some of the recommendations that the PM has said will happen we feel will not be implemented for some time, when they're very much needed now, which is disappointing."

"As with everything, the lack of funding will be a problem not only nationally but with budgets that local councils allocate to their relevant sectors, hence In Charley's Memory is unsure how effective these changes will be."

Charley Marks, 18, took his own life in September 2014 and the charity 'In Charley's Memory' was set up using his name to support young people and those affected by mental health.

In the speech at the Charity Commission, Mrs May announced that every secondary school will be offered mental health first aid training - which teaches people how to identify symptoms and help people who may be developing a mental health issue.

Also, the PM announced trials on strengthening links between schools and NHS specialist staff, including a review of children and adolescent services across the country. Employers and organisations will also be given additional training in supporting staff who need to take time off.


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