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Compass backs Time for Action report

Published on: December 20, 2021

Compass is supporting the launch of the Time for Action report, which highlights continued under investment in children and young people’s mental health.

The report, by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition points to a postcode lottery of support and asserts that public spending on mental health for the under 25s lags behind that for adult mental health services.

Chief Executive Rachel Bundock of Compass, said: “Mental Health Support Teams in schools and colleges are vitally important. Our charity has been very much a part of the roll out, but it can be frustrating to know that in many areas of the country our most vulnerable members of society still may feel they have no discreet but accessible avenue for support.”

In the Time for Action report, Compass cites its own experience providing mental health support services for children in 400 schools in North Yorkshire. The Compass BUZZ project upskilled all school staff, including playground assistants, teachers, teaching assistants, and senior leadership teams to support the mental health of their pupils and colleagues through direct interventions, based on a whole school approach.

The report states: “The legacy of Compass BUZZ is that schools can adapt and deliver a whole school approach with little external support.

“This model could have initial national set-up costs of £59.5m, reducing over subsequent years to £15m, £11.9m and 8.5m in years 1,2 and 3. It has a phased approach to consultation and support which results in costs falling post set-up.”

Compass says in the report that the model could provide national coverage across schools relatively cheaply and could have low running costs in subsequent years.

And it concludes: “A whole school and college approach would embed mental health within the education system, which would have a universal impact on the health of every child and young person.”

Ms Bundock, who attended today’s launch of the Time for Action report for Compass, added: “It is certainly time for action. High time, in fact. Because of the effects of the pandemic and lockdowns, children and young people have, arguably, never needed mental health support more.

“We fully back the report in its call for systemic investment in services and the staff who provide them.”