DfE minister Sam Gyimah has said he wants to pursue peer-mentoring projects in schools. He said an advisory group to examine effective peer mentoring programmes is to be established and that children can be trained to spot mental illness and provide support to their peers.
"I have been particularly struck that young people understand better than anyone the pressures they face, which are totally different to when I was growing up. They turn to each other for support in many areas of their life and I want to put them at the heart of developing new approaches. The last thing young people want is an adult telling them how they should feel or how they should respond.
That is why I am setting up an advisory group to explore the key elements of effective peer mentoring programmes, and bringing together those established at delivering training on both mental health and peer mentoring, and those that can provide recognition for such activity.
By training children in recognising mental illnesses, and in mentoring techniques, we can help tackle the insecurity that can go with mental health problems while also helping to destigmatise it."
The government has set aside £1.25bn to improve mental health services for children and young people by 2020.