Jeremy Hunt said primary schools should have mental health experts
The Health Secretary told MPs that 50 per cent of all mental health conditions become established before people are aged 14, adding there is a greater chance of providing a "full cure" if the condition is discovered sooner.
He added a way needs to be found to ensure there is some mental health expertise in every primary school.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Hunt said: "I think there is some very interesting innovation going on in many parts of the country.
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We need to find a way whereby there is some mental health expertise in every primary school
"In Hove, I visited a school where there is a Cahms (child and adolescent mental health services) worker based full-time in the school and that actually had a very transformational effect.
"It meant the teachers always had someone they knew they could talk to, their understanding of mental health improved.
"It's this kind of innovation we want to encourage."
Democratic Unionist Gregory Campbell (East Londonderry), speaking during health questions, asked: "Further to that, what pressure and persuasiveness are you bringing to bear in the education system, particularly in primary schools, where on occasions very young people have had such a diagnosis and problems have been created within the school environment?"
Nearly 50 per cent of all mental health conditions become established before people are aged 14
Mr Hunt replied: "This is a very important issue because, as you know, half of all mental health conditions are diagnosed or become established before people are 14 and the sooner we catch them, the better the chance of giving someone a full cure.
"So we need to find a way whereby there is some mental health expertise in every primary school so we can head off some of these problems."
Common mental health disorders Wed, November 2, 2016
Common mental health disorders from anxiety and depression to post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias.
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Stress – Feeling under mental or emotional pressure can lead to sleeping problems, a loss of appetite or difficulty concentrating
Prime Minister Theresa May announced earlier this year that secondary schools would be offered mental health first aid training, and that by 2021 no child would have to travel away from their local area to receive treatment.
Mental health organisations warned more money would be required to achieve her aims to improve treatment and combat stigma.
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