A study has shown that access to one-on-one counseling for school children can be beneficial for the UK’s economy. A children’s mental health charity, Place2Be, had Pro Bono Economics assess the impact of mental health services on the economy in the long run.
The organization has already provided emotional support to 116,000 children from 282 primary and secondary schools since it was founded in 1994. They also offer training, not only to students but also to their parents and teachers.
Pro Bono Economics conducted the study among 4,548 pupils from 251 primary schools who received one-on-one counseling during the academic year 2016-2017.
Results showed that the counseling services could lead to a reduced number of children developing depression, smoking, being absent from class, and committing crimes. Not only did the study target how it would affect school children, but it also focused on how it would affect the UK’s economy.
Pro Bono Economics volunteer wrote a report by Dr. Alan Little showing that every £1 invested in mental health services could lead to a return of £6.20 in the form of reduced crime and higher employment rates.
The study also estimates that counseling around 4,000 students could reach the amount of £25.8M. Pro Bono Economics also said that each child who receives advice could reach £5,700. This could positively impact the government by saving around £2,000 per child offered with mental health services.
According to Andy Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England and a trustee of the Pro Bono Economics, an estimated one in ten children suffer from a mental health condition. He added that without intervention, it could have a significant impact on the children’s lives and result in long-term costs.
The General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers Paul Whiteman said that the government should note these benefits and that supporting and funding mental health and wellbeing in schools is a sensible investment.