Early mental health interventions in primary schools, such as one-to-one mental health support from counsellors, could both improve life chances for children over their lifetime and generate significant economic benefits, according to an independent analysis, conducted by charity Pro Bono Economics, of charity Place2Be’s school-based mental health services.
The study looked at the improvement in mental health of pupils from 251 primary schools, covering 4,548 children who had received one-to-one support from Place2Be counsellors over the school year 2016/17. The report calculates that for every £1 invested (£4.2 million in total), Place2Be’s counselling service has the potential to deliver a societal return of £6.20 (£25.9 million in total) by improving long-term outcomes for each child.
This return is achieved through higher rates of employment and earnings and by reducing rates of school truancy, exclusion, smoking, depression and crime. The potential benefit of Place2Be’s counselling service was calculated at £5,700 per child.