The Education and Health and Social Care Select Committees have published a report on the Government's Green Paper on mental health. NCB has published its own reaction.
Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau said:
“With 1 in 4 teenage girls and 1 in 10 boys experiencing symptoms of depression, we need a Green Paper that backs up good ideas with ambition and urgency to make good mental health care for children a reality.
“Decisive action now can turn the tide on the number of teenage girls who are self-harming; relieve the relentless academic and social pressures our children are facing; and meet the unmet needs leading to children with autism being excluded from school.
“Three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health problem, and this number is on the rise. These children need help now, not in five years’ time, and not in only a quarter of the country.
“This Green Paper should be opportunity to ensure children get the support they urgently need and to address the underlying issues causing these problems. Instead what we’ve got is a shuffle in the right direction when we need a stride.
“The Government must listen to demands from the Education and Health and Social Care Select Committees and the children’s sector, and bring forward funding to support schools to prevent poor mental health, with a clear and properly resourced action plan to implement improvements in specialist mental health services.
“While the Government’s vision recognises that prevention is better than cure, the focus on early years in this Green Paper is not nearly strong enough. Like teachers, staff in nurseries and other early years settings need mental health training so they can work with parents to promote young children’s social and emotional development. This is a vital part of the jigsaw if a child is to have the confidence and social skills that will get them ready for school and stand their emotional wellbeing in good stead throughout their childhood.”