“Young people in secondary schools need a clearer picture of where they can go to get help for their mental health or if they’re worried about a friend,” Centre for Mental Health chief executive Sarah Hughes said today.

Responding to a Mind survey of young people and teachers, published today, Sarah Hughes said: “Mind’s survey shows that a majority of young people have some experience of mental health difficulty, and that they want help and advice to be at hand when they need it. Students and staff alike need to know that help will be there, both within the school and outside.

“The survey is an important reminder that young people are more aware than ever about how mental health issues affect them and their friends. We need to ensure this awareness is translated into mental health literacy by supporting schools and families to build knowledge and understanding.

“The NHS in England is now investing in mental health support teams in schools and for the first time mental health will be on the curriculum nationwide. These are important first steps in making schools more supportive of children and young people’s wellbeing. We need to ensure that all schools benefit from these changes and that they do as much as they can to prevent mental health difficulties as well as dealing with problems when they occur. This must include more support for children with behavioural problems, action to prevent exclusions and tackle bullying, and creating a safe and healthy environment for young people and staff alike.”