A Hertfordshire company has launched the largest ever wellbeing and mental health programme in UK schools.

Govox Wellbeing, based in Hitchin, has launched a new school programme that will monitor the wellbeing of pupils in Hertfordshire and the UK and offer support amid worrying teenage suicide rates.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that teen suicide rates have increased by 45 per cent over the past decade – and Govox hopes that Hertfordshire schools can become “UK-leading” when it comes to mental health support.

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Richard Lucas founded the company in 2018 following his own personal experience of those close to him facing mental health issues.

Watford Observer: Richard Lucas. Credit: GovoxRichard Lucas. Credit: Govox

Over 40,000 people in 10 countries have used the platform since its launch, but now Mr Lucas will be offering the service free-of-charge to up to 1,000 secondary state schools.

It is said that this could help up to one million pupils who may not otherwise be able to afford it due to stretched budgets.

Mr Lucas said: “Tight budgets should not stop pupils getting the help that, both the data and the personal experience of so many, shows is urgently needed. It is time to remove the stigma around talking about how we feel and move on from the ‘man up’ generation to the ‘speak up’ generation.

“I am urging every school in Hertfordshire to lead by example and sign up so we can work together to ensure that any pupils who are struggling can be identified and get the help they need.

“I want Herts schools to be UK-leading when it comes to mental health support.”

Watford Observer: This programme is hoped to reduce the alarming rates of teen suicides. Credit: PAThis programme is hoped to reduce the alarming rates of teen suicides. Credit: PA

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “This Conservative government is putting an extra £2.3 billion into mental health services in the next year and this, alongside entrepreneurs and passionate advocates of mental health like Richard Lucas we will be able to massively improve and protect the mental health of younger generations in the UK today.”

Schools in Hertfordshire are being urged to sign up to the programme so that the platform can be installed ahead of the summer holidays.

To sign up, visit: govox.com/schools-partnership