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

13 October 2016

The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition is delighted to announce the election of Dr Pooky Knightsmith as its new Vice Chair. Dr Knightsmith, a renowned campaigner for children’s mental health, directs the children, young people and schools programme at the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, a charity that provides fully-funded mental health training to schools.

Dr Knightsmith brings a wealth of experience to the role, beyond her PHD in child and adolescent mental health from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, she has written a number of publications - including “Self-Harm and Eating Disorders in Schools: A Guide to Whole School Support and Practical Strategies” and Department for Education funded “Guidance on preparing to teach about mental health and emotional wellbeing.

The position was previously held by Mick Atkinson and, in an interim capacity, Barbara Rayment. The Coalition thanks them for their hard work and looks forward to continue working with them in the future.

Professor Dame Sue Bailey, Chair of CYPMHC says:

“Dr Pooky Knightsmith’s election as Vice Chair of the Coalition comes at a crucial time. The cost of not fully addressing the mental health of children and young people is destroyed lives, wasted opportunities and a diminished society. We want people to better understand mental health and particularly those who work with or support children and young people. This means teachers, nursery workers and parents – in fact everyone. The election of Dr Pooky Knightsmith’s as Vice Chair by members of the Coalition, is a signal of intent that we are up to the challenge of ensuring this issue continues to rise in prominence.”  

Dr Pooky Knightsmith, Vice Chair of CYMPCH says:

“I am honoured to be elected as Vice Chair of the Coalition. The greatest test of our time is to ensure that children and young people are happier, healthier and more confident about their future.”

The Coalition brings together leading organisations from across England to speak as one on behalf of children and young people’s mental health. The Coalition’s task is to get policy makers and wider society to acknowledge that more and more children and young people are struggling to cope with what life is throwing at them, leading to poor mental health. With some parts of the system that support our children and families at breaking point.

The Coalition was launched in the House of Lords in March 2010 and is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation.