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Responding to the announcement that the Welsh Government is to pilot a scheme to put specialist CAMHS support into schools, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:
 
“Teachers and school leaders are deeply concerned about the mental health issues being faced by the children and young people they teach.
 
“A recent NASUWT survey showed high on the list of issues was the lack of timely and effective access to CAMHS services when pupils exhibit mental health problems.
 
“Less than a quarter of the teachers surveyed were confident they would be able to get timely support from expert services such as CAMHS and therefore the announcement that dedicated CAMHS professionals will be recruited to work in a number of schools during the pilot will no doubt be welcomed by the profession.
 
“Going forward however, it will be important that teachers are not expected to take the place of qualified healthcare professionals.
 
“Whilst support for teachers to recognise the signs of mental and emotional distress in their pupils may be helpful, this must not lead to teachers, already struggling to cope with excessive and unsustainable workloads, being expected to diagnose, treat and manage pupils’ mental health.”
 
Rex Philips, NASUWT National Official Wales, said:  
 
“It is disappointing that, having acknowledged the mental health issues facing children and young people, yet again the extensive evidence of the mental health issues faced by teachers themselves has been ignored.
 
“The Welsh Government must also act to provide pupils and teachers alike with direct and readily available access to mental health services staffed by professionally qualified and trained staff and also to tackle the contributory factors in schools which are damaging mental health and wellbeing.”

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