Head of the Royal College of Nursing, Dame Donna Kinnair has called for every school to have a permanent school nurse to help stem a child mental health crisis that some experts have predicted may become the next pandemic.
(Read the full article in the Mail Online HERE.)
Donna Kinnair attributed the severity of the situation to problems arising from, or aggravated by, COVID-19 and the RCN proposal is included in a manifesto of ideas to improve the health of the UK population published by the College of Medicine. Donna Kinnair said:
‘Every school should have a school nurse ….with one in six children and young people experiencing mental health issues, the role of school nurses has never been more important in assisting them.’
The proposal has been backed by the National Association of Head Teachers. General Secretary, Paul Whiteman said that the Government should also give an immediate commitment to fund:
‘A single member of staff with a relevant knowledge and expertise to act as the school lead for mental health.’
The Department for Health and Social Care has yet to respond to the proposals but they have been welcomed by Helen Clark, Campaign Manager for the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign who added:
‘We support both of these calls – and would also include an immediate appointment in every school of a fully-funded therapist or counsellor (whichever is appropriate to age group and need) who is registered and subject to annual ‘fit to practice’ checks through an independent Government-approved agency such as the Professional Authority’s Accredited Register Programme or the Health and Care Profession Council.
All the posts are non-negotiable and the Government must announce a fully-resourced national programme of provision in every school as of urgency.
Mental health deserves parity with physical health and above all this means parity in funding.
Money talks – and in the interests of UK children, the Ministerial deafening silence must end NOW!’