Place2Be launched Children’s Mental Health week in 2015 and continues to promote it each year.
For Children’s Mental Health Week 2021 we will be encouraging children (and adults) to explore the different ways we can express ourselves and the creative ways that we can share our feelings, our thoughts and our ideas.’
The week will be promoted by the organisation’s patron, the Duchess of Cambridge and more information is available at childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/about-the-week .
Parliamentarians will no doubt hold a Backbench debate to be answered in friendly style; by the relevant Minister – with no commitments given.
Helen Clark, Campaign Manager for the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign and Lead Author for APPG on A Fit and Healthy Childhood called for a different approach this year:
‘Children’s mental health services have been by-passed for too long and the pandemic has highlighted the total inadequacy of the mental health provision that children are expected to put up with.
On January 13th, the Government published a Mental Health White Paper but its focus (insofar as children are mentioned at all) is on regulating confinement in medical settings rather than providing help in school, community and home settings at earlier stages in an illness.
Make Children’s Mental Health Week in one to remember this year by taking the actions listed below and let us know how you get on!’
• Access the White Paper [here]
• Write a response to the White Paper and send to the address provided within the allocated timescale. You do NOT need to answer the Government’s ‘steer’ questions but concentrate on your own experience either as a parent/carer or a professional. Points are often made most strongly when they are supported by real-life experience
• Refresh your knowledge of what good mental health legislation (not ‘pilot trials’) can be for children and young people. Read the
Child Mental Health Charter Six Principles (childmentalhealthcharter.com).
• Write to your local MP saying why you feel that the White Paper as it stands does not represent an adequate legislative pathway for children and young people.
• Ask your MP to write to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt hon Matt Hancock MP, asking him to make the Charter Principles the benchmark for children’s mental health service provision within the new Mental Health Bill as promised by Boris Johnson in his 2019 Queen’s Speech and scheduled for timetabling during the course of this parliament.
• Ask your MP to write to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, asking him to announce a fully-funded Covid Recovery Mental Health Strategy for Children with immediate effect.
All of the above would make Children’s Mental Health Week 2021 one to remember.