Mental health awareness training will be available online next year for all professionals – including teachers and GPs – who work with children.
The pledge by the government is designed to help professionals be aware of how mental health problems can first present themselves.
The initiative is one of a raft of measures in an action plan, entitled Improving Health, Supporting Justice, which has the ultimate aim to improve the treatment of offenders with mental health problems and learning disabilities.
Care services minister Phil Hope described the plan as a “more consistent and connected vision for improving health in the criminal justice system”.
However, the government will not introduce criminal justice mental health teams. These were recommended by Lord Bradley in his April report on the treatment of these groups of offenders.
The plan aims to reduce the numbers of offenders with mental health problems and learning disabilities who are unecessarily in prison.