The Child Mental Health Charter Campaign has called upon the Government to prioritise children’s mental health on their return to school as of urgency.
NOW OVER HALF OF PARENTS IN A NEW SURVEY BY PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND AGREE WITH US!
Today ‘The Times’ reports that the research (conducted by YouGov for PHE and consisting of 2,559 parents in England with children aged 5-18 surveyed between August 4-11) has found that:
- One third of the children told their parents that they felt more anxious, sad and stressed from March 2020 onwards than before lockdown
- Two thirds of parents said that the behaviour of their children had changed
- More than half of the parents said that of their ‘three biggest worries’ stemming directly from Covis-19, the mental health of their children came top
- Sources of child anxiety included missed education, friendships and worries about how to re-build them and starting a new school after the prolonged break
(‘The Times’; Children sadder and more anxious since lockdown,’ 8th September 2020)
PHE has now joined forces with some charities including Place2Be, Young Minds, The Anna Freud Institute and The Mix to found a new website ‘Every Mind Matters’ (https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/) to offer advice to parents and children. The website has been welcomed by the Mental Health Minister and Under Secretary of State for Health, Nadine Dorries MP.
Helen Clark, Campaign Manager for the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign said:
The results of the survey tell us what we knew already – that children’s mental health is at crisis point and the Government needs to get a grip NOW!
This means providing real direction in the form of a detailed, step and by step Strategy rather than an easy reliance on a series of ‘self help’ aides.
This new website is welcome but schools, teachers, children and their families need more than online advice – or ‘suggestions’ as to how they might spend what they might be allocated from the nebulous Covid ‘Catch-up Premium’ fund.
What is needed is a detailed strategy and we need it now.
It is time for the Government to stop treating children’s mental health as an optional policy ‘add on’.
This is a ‘now or never’ moment and Gavin Williamson must step up!
Helen Clark, Campaign Manager, The Child Mental Health Charter