CYPMHC response to today’s announcements on preventing mental illness

18 June 2019

“The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition welcomes the package of measures announced today by the Prime Minister to improve the nation’s mental health. It is encouraging that young people’s mental health continues to be a national priority and these commitments build on existing initiatives such as the Green Paper and statutory health education.

Schools and colleges are often the first port of call for young people needing mental health support. We welcome the commitment to equip new teachers with the skills and knowledge they need to identify and respond to mental health difficulties. This should be delivered as part of a whole school and college approach to help promote the mental health and wellbeing of both learners and staff. Support should also be made available to young people with identified or emerging needs.

Social workers come into regular contact with families facing adversities, such as abuse and neglect. The workforce will benefit from today’s announcement to strengthen their training around mental health, however, this must be trauma-informed. Training and development for professionals in education and social care must also embrace neurodiversity to meet the needs of young people who learn differently.

Health visitors can play a crucial role in improving maternal and infant mental health and joining up services. The commitment to modernise the support provided by this workforce is laudable however, we must ensure there are sufficient numbers of health visitors in post with capacity to establish trusting relationships with families.

While these measures are a step in the right direction, more is required to give every child and family the best chance of good mental health.

A cross-government approach is needed to fulfil these ambitions and improve care across the lifespan. The Coalition looks forward to supporting the Government in the implementation of these changes”.

Dr Pooky Knightsmith, Chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition

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For press enquires for the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition please contact Kadra.abdinasir@cypmhc.org.uk