THOUSANDS of children in schools across the North-East will have access to mental health services thanks to a grant of £60,000.

Durham Freemasons has donated the cash to the Place2Be charity to help youngsters who are struggling.

On average, three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health problem, and half of all mental health problems are established by the age of 14.

Early intervention, as offered by Place2Be, provides children with the best possible chance to receive treatment and develop the necessary coping skills that will allow them to thrive in the long-term.

Natalie Johnson, from Place2Be, said: “We’re very grateful to Durham Freemasons for their generous grant, which will help us to provide vital mental health services for children.”

John Arthur, from Durham Freemasons, said: “Early intervention is critical in treating mental health issues and this helps not only the children concerned, but also improves the teaching environment for the rest of the class.”