The All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood has published a report on Mental Health in Childhood intended to support the Government in making its eagerly awaited child mental health legislation.
The report claims that the Government green paper, ‘Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision’, offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity for England to reverse the long, slow decades of decay in the field of child mental health and considers the prioritisation of 15 key measure including having:
- · A properly-funded CAMHS service with statutory referral times.
- · A Government commitment to child mental health as a priority service.
- · UK–wide collaboration between the education, health and voluntary sectors in the interest of child mental health and emotional wellbeing services.
- · A national in-school counselling service staffed only by professionally accredited counsellors on an Accredited Register.
- · Compulsory initial training and ongoing CPD for all teachers and other professionals dealing with the mental health of children and young people.
- · Re-balancing the National Curriculum to include statutory child mental health and wellbeing content and the re-positioning of play and physical activity within a ‘whole child’ context.
- · The Government to provide more accessible and timely support for children, young people and families who have experienced adversity and trauma with a specific focus on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
- · New plans to fill the gap between school-based counselling and CAMHS for the school-aged child and speedy, responsive services for students/apprentices embarking upon an FE place, degree or mix of work and training who currently ‘fall between services’ and are unable to access sources of help.
- · Inter-departmental collaboration on policy to promote child mental health and wellbeing; ideally co-ordinated and audited by a Secretary of State for Children.
Chair of the working group, Helen Clark commented ‘The green paper as it stands is not perfect, but neither should it be denounced as emblematic of yet another policy failure. It can, and must, be a foundation for child mental health services that work in the interests of the individual and the wider society of which they are a part. Within this context, a Department for Children and a Secretary of State with responsibility for cross-departmental audit scrutinised by a new Select Committee are integral’.
Read the full report here