During the week of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, ‘The Daily Mirror’ has launched a mental health campaign, calling upon the Prime Minister to stop UK mental health services ‘failing our kids.’
Using several real-life case histories, the paper provides a Prime Ministerial ‘could do better list’ in the style of a school report card; citing the following as ‘Areas in need of urgent improvement’:
- Children falling through the cracks, with a third estimated to be turned away from specialist mental health services despite GP referral
- Three times as many desperate parents having to struggle to pay for private care
- Children’s services needing £1.49 billion alone
- Services ‘cut to the bone’ before the pandemic. Many only able to offer care to those at most risk of harming themselves, and having to reprioritise ‘moderate’ conditions like eating disorders, anxiety and depression
- Waiting times still long, promised new targets will not come in until 2023/4.
The Mirror’s campaign is called ‘Headstrong: Better Mental Health For All’ and calls for:
- Early Access Mental Health Hubs for ‘under 25s’ to be rolled out across the country, with at least one for each trust. These walk-in centres allow young people to get easy drop-in support on a self-referral basis
- Waiting times to be cut so people actually start treatment with a professional within four weeks
- The Government to fill in the gaps in care, end the red tape which means many don’t fit the set criteria to get help; plus urgently recruit 8,500 more mental health staff
- Compulsory Mental Health education lessons in schools, plus paid counsellors in schools and care homes.
The paper urges its readers to write to their MP, asking them to sign Early Day Motion 459 to debate mental health and the pandemic in Parliament.
Child Mental Health Charter Campaign Director Helen Clark said:
“Obviously I welcome the fact that one of the UK’s most popular and best-selling newspapers has chosen to campaign on mental health; prioritising in particular, the urgent needs of children.
This is now our chance to ask the paper to go further.
The lead journalist for this campaign is Natasha Wynarczyk, firstname.lastname@example.org (twitter @tash_wynarczyk).
I am now asking EVERYONE who reads this article to contact Natasha Wynaarczyk.
TELL HER TODAY about the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign.
ASK HER to publicise the Charter and ASK ‘The Daily Mirror’ to be the first national newspaper to SIGN THE CHARTER!
TELL HER TODAY about our excellent EDM 414: ‘Play Therapy’, tabled for us in the House of Commons by Dr Lisa Cameron MP.
ASK HER to encourage ‘Mirror’ readers to contact their MP and ask them to sign it.
ASK HER to add new point 5 to the four campaign demands:
‘Paid registered play therapists as recognised core services in all family hubs, early years centres and primary schools.’
Please act on this today – contact ‘The Daily Mirror’ and tell them to help the Child Mental Health Charter to help children today.”