Focus on the needs of children. Children’s voices must be heard and their dignity and human rights upheld. Within school, the curriculum must embed within it an understanding of emotional well being, the principles of good mental health and the certainty of therapeutic help for those children who need it
Protect children. Any individual who works therapeutically with children must be registered through an independent government-approved agency such as the Professional Authority’s Accredited Register programme or the Health and Care Professions Council. Children are currently insufficiently protected because too many unqualified and unsupervised people are practising
Invest in a properly qualified workforce. Level 7 postgraduate training is essential and the main obstacle to a properly trained workforce is the lack of financial support. Accessible, high-quality and recovery-focused mental health services require personnel whose appropriate training is not solely dependent upon their own financial resources. All professionals (including teachers) who work with children must be trained in mental health awareness.
Ensure policy is informed by the best available and appropriate evidence and adequately funded. Practice-based evidence uses continuous measurements obtained from real life practice and should inform an ‘evidence base’ for working therapeutically with children
Focus on the needs of parents and carers. There must be high quality support for parents and carers to help them to better understand and support their child with schools promoted as effective, familiar, accessible and empathetic service delivery channels
Make policies work. ‘Joined up working’ would prioritise appropriate data–sharing between all agencies concerned with child welfare. The responsibility for children’s mental health would encompass all relevant Departments in addition to the Department for Health and Social Care.