Young people in Hertfordshire will benefit from “quick access” mental health support, according to an MP.

Richard Harrington announced today two new mental health support teams will work with schools and colleges in the area to deliver support to children and young people with a new four-week wait time limit as standard.

The teams will be paid for using part of the £20.5 billion being put into the NHS.

They will provide ongoing support for staff and students and schools can arrange for a “designated lead” to receive mental health training by the Department for Education.

Support teams will comprise “education mental health practitioners” supervised by NHS staff from the children’s mental health workforce.

They will deliver face-to-face evidence-based interventions by working with the designated person to ensure wellbeing is supported as part of a “whole school” approach.

The Watford MP said: “We know that 50 per cent of adult mental health problems have started by the age of 14. For too long there hasn’t been enough focus on mental healthcare in this country, but that is changing.

“I’ve been told by teachers that, in many instances, they can be the first to spot signs of possible mental health conditions. That’s why we need to be able to work with schools and colleges, to deliver a much more joined up approach to mental healthcare.

“Thanks to this extra Government funding, children and young people in Watford will soon be able to access the right care, without going through a lengthy referral process.”