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OUR CHARTER CAMPAIGN MILESTONES

Since we started our Child Mental Health Charter Campaign we’ve been very busy! On May 16th Sir David Amess MP raised the urgent need for a reform of the 1983 Mental Health Act prioritising the needs of children and young people on the floor of the House of Commons. This is a unique advance for our campaign and we are extremely grateful to Sir David and his team.

PTUK hope that it will inspire our registrants to ‘go the extra mile’ in their efforts to gain support for the Charter from policy-makers. Please contact Monika Jephcott and Jeff Thomas to find out how to do this most effectively. 

But in the meantime, this is what we’ve been up to!

  • Meetings at Westminster with Sir David Amess MP, Steve McCabe MP, Ruth George MP, Tom Brake MP: held by Monika and Jeff, Campaign Spokesperson, Helen Clark, Phil Royal, Kate Day APPG on A Fit and Healthy Childhood 
  • Future meetings at Westminster scheduled with Julie Cooper MP, Sir Barry Shearman MP: Monika, Jeff and Helen 
  • Registrants have held meetings with some MPs in their constituencies including Michelle Donelan, David Liddington, Heidi Allen
  • Registrant meetings scheduled with MPs Siobhain McDonagh, Sir Mike Penning• Questions tabled for us by George Howarth MP
  • Letter to Mike Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Services) written on our behalf by George Howarth MP
  • Ministerial letter from Jackie Doyle- Price to George Howarth MP, mentioning for the first time, the Government’s intention to ‘reform mental health law, and the Government will develop and bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time allows.’
  • Promise to write to the Secretary of State for Health from Tom Brake MP• Promise to put down Written Questions for us from Ian Austin MP• Promise to apply for an Adjournment Debate on the floor of the House of Commons by Steve McCabe MP
  • Early Day Motion 2285 tabled for us in the House of Commons by Steve McCabe MP. To date 42 MPs from all parties have signed.
  • Has YOUR MP signed this EDM yet? Ask them to sign up NOW and show their constituents that they are supporting children, their families and carers and everyone who works professionally with them

IMPORTANT CAMPAIGN EVENT FOR THE FUTURE!

29th October 2019:  The Jubilee Room 4-6pm. Reception at the House of Commons for the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign, hosted by Sir David Amess MP

PLEASE KEEP IN TOUCH!

PTUK needs to know any and all feedback you have from contact with your own MP about the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign. 

Please feed back to Monika and Jeff – and do contact them for advice using email: mokijep@majemail.com

LATEST UPDATES

17th August 2019 - WELCOME TO NADINE DORRIES

Boris Johnson, the new Prime Minister has, as expected, refreshed his Ministerial team. Some have remained in post including the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP. However, Mr Johnson has ‘shuffled the pack’ and Jackie Doyle-Price, formerly Under Secretary of State in the Department of Health and Social Care and Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, has now left the Government.

Ms Doyle Price has been replaced in post by Nadine Dorries; the MP for Mid Bedfordshire since 2005.

Child Mental Health Charter campaigners have seen significant progress in Government thinking about mental health during Ms Doyle Price’s tenure. At the start of our campaign in March 2019, Theresa May’s Government had published a Mental Health Green Paper – and that seemed to be that!

Then we started to make waves!

It is just four months since we began our campaign to secure the inclusion of a new Mental Health Bill (with the needs of children at its heart) in the next Queen’s Speech. In that brief time span, Ms Doyle Price promised first that the Green Paper would be followed by a White Paper – and finally that it was the Government’s firm intention to legislate.

This is record progress in super-quick time, but what will happen with a change of Prime Minister and a new Minister with responsibility for Mental Health?

There are ‘green shoots’ of hope for CMHC campaigners! 

  • Prior to Boris Johnson’s victory in the Conservative leadership election campaign, Helen and Jeff met with key Johnson supporter, Andrew Rossindell MP
  • Mr Johnson then wrote about mental health in ‘The Daily Telegraph’ and stressed the importance of physical activity for children’s mental health and wellbeing

Nadine Dorries, Boris Johnson’s new Under Secretary of State with responsibility for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, is somebody who brings definitive career experience to the role.

Prior to her election in 2005, Ms Dorries worked as a nurse in Warrington, Liverpool and Westminster. She then spent a year in Zambia as head of a community school. On her return to the UK, Nadine founded ‘Company Kids’ Ltd’ a supplier of day-care services for the children of working parents.

It is encouraging that the new Minster responsible for taking important decisions about children’s mental health is somebody with relevant professional experience that should be useful as she undertakes her new role.

We look forward to discussing the Child Mental Health Charter with Nadine Dorries and explaining why its Six Principles should be the framework of new Mental Health legislation for children.

We will invite her to our Jubilee Room Reception in the House of Commons on 29th October 2019 and hope that she will join us at that important event for the campaign.        

 

12th August 2019 - LEADING CHILDREN’S CHARITY SAYS THAT THE MENTAL HEALTH OF OVER 1 MILLION CHILDREN COULD BE ENDANGERED BY NHS COMMISSIONING

MPs may be away from their desks, but the crisis in children’s mental health is not on holiday!

According to NSPCC research (9th August):

  • 4 out of 5 of the latest annual mental health plans published by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups are not planning properly for the needs of vulnerable children – who are not even ‘recognised’ in the new plans
  • The new regional NHS partnerships cover much larger geographical areas and children who have experienced the trauma of abuse or neglect are at risk of simply ‘slipping through the net’
  • These children are likelier to develop a range of problems such as PTSD, depression, anxiety and eating disorders

In Cheshire and Merseyside alone, the mental health of 68,000 children is in danger of being simply bypassed

The NSPCC calls for NHS England:

  • To commit to vulnerable children by putting their needs at the heart of its implementation of the NHS ‘Long Term Plan’
  • To provide greater accountability and oversight with more transparency from commissioners about how children’s mental health services are funded and planned
  • To ensure that decisions about what mental health services are provided for children nationwide are based on a detailed assessment of local needs, including specific reference to vulnerable children.

I will be writing to MPs in Cheshire and Merseyside and asking them to commit to supporting the mental health needs of all the children in their constituencies by signing up to our Child Mental Health Charter Campaign.

I hope that it will be possible to arrange to meet some of them in the near future at the House of Commons to discuss the pertinent issues in greater depth.

The CMHC Campaign welcomes the NSPCC’s findings and hopes that the NSPCC agrees with us that it is essential that a new Mental Health Act is included in the next Queen’s Speech that prioritises the needs of children.

If any Registrant has links with the NSPCC locally, now is an ideal time to arrange a visit; tell them about our Charter Campaign and  ask them to sign up to register their support. As always, let us know how you get on!

Remember – we are stronger together!

That can only be good for all children and the people who care for them and work with them. 


11th August, 2019 - HOW MARGINAL IS YOUR MP?

We are well into the short Parliamentary Recess, but politics as we know it has not stopped and time has not stood still – indeed far from it! This Sunday morning, we are swamped by articles from all quarters of the media with predictions of an imminent General Election.

Will Prime Minister Boris Johnson announce his intention to ‘go to the country’ immediately upon MPs’ return to the House of Commons on September 3rd?

Might he wait to win (or lose) a Vote of Confidence and then call a General Election – making sure to pre-empt the ‘Do or Die’ Brexit deadline of 31st October?

Could the Prime Minister even hold a General Election immediately after a ‘Deal or no Deal’ Brexit on 31st October?

Who can say?

However, one thing is certain: the nation is on ‘General Election alert’; the Prime Minister’s spending announcements on the NHS, the police and prisons sound suspiciously like ‘poll sweeteners,’ and by the time the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign holds its reception in the Jubilee Room of the House fo Commons on 29th October 2019, we may in fact, have a new Government!

But whether that is a Conservative Government, led by Boris Johnson that will be responsible for introducing the next Queen’s Speech,  or a Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn – or even a Coalition Government led by Johnson, Corbyn or AN Other, our mission remains the same:

A new Mental Health Bill to be included in the next Queen’s Speech (the Government’s traditional method of setting out its forthcoming programme of work) that will put the interests children at its heart

This is what we are working to achieve, Recess or no Recess and regardless of the political persuasion of the UK Government.

When a General Election is called, the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign will be sending a letter to every MP who currently represents a marginal constituency (a seat held by the incumbent with a majority of 5,000 or below).

We will be asking them:

  • To sign up to the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign and its Six Guiding Principles
  • To pledge to campaign for a new Mental Health Act to be introduced at the first possible opportunity that will put the interests of all children at its heart.

There are 51 MPs already who will not be receiving a letter from us at such a busy time!

This is because THEY HAVE ALREADY SIGNED EDM 2285!

If you have not yet contacted your own constituency MP to ask them to sign this important Motion, please do so as an absolute TOP PRIORITY this August.

The CMHC Campaign will be very grateful to you – but more importantly, so will children everywhere; their families and carers and everybody who works professionally with children (regardless of where those children live, or what their economic circumstances may be) in any way whatsoever.  

We’ll be contacting you soon with further news.

AND REMEMBER:

Don’t forget to tell Jeff and Monika about all the responses that you are getting (whatever they are) as you help us by spreading the great news about the CMHC Campaign!


25th July, 2019 - MPs may be about to pack their bags and head for sunny climes (or their constituencies; in the present heat wave it amounts to the same thing) but MPs who support the Child Mental Health Charter are still at their desks and performing a public service!

I am delighted to be able to report that, less than 24 HOURS SINCE BORIS JOHNSON BECAME PRIME MINISTER, Sir David Amess MP has written to him on our behalf, asking the new PM to guarantee that he will include a new Mental Health Bill, prioritising the needs of children in his first Queen’s Speech!

WOW!!!!

On behalf of the CMHC campaign, I would like to thank Sir David and all his hard-working staff for everything that they have done and continue to do to help all those children who struggle in the UK every day with mental health problems spanning all levels and degrees of severity that are just not being met.

If Sir David can go that extra mile, so can we all!

I hope that Sir David’s exemplary enthusiasm and commitment will inspire us all to do that little bit more to make the campaign succeed today and every day!


25th July, 2019 - New Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has appointed his Cabinet. For CMHC campaigners, the main point is that Matt Hancock remains in his post as Health Secretary.

We are most grateful to MPs George Howarth, Sir David Amess and Tom Brake who have written directly to Mr Hancock; alerting him to our campaign and above all, the need for a new Mental Health Act, prioritising the needs of children to be included in the next Queen’s Speech.

When our helpful MP campaigners first started writing to Mr Hancock, Theresa May was the Prime Minister. She had already issued a Green Paper on Mental Health, but the indications were that in effect, the much needed reform would be ‘this year – next year – sometime –NEVER!’ to quote a well-worn ditty.

Well – we weren’t having that! 

Our determined  and energetic campaign saw Mrs May (and her Health Secretary, Matt Hancock) moving significantly from what was a ‘Green Paper red traffic light’ to a pledge to publish a White Paper before the end of 2019 and a firm promise to legislate to replace the outdated 1983 Mental Health Act.

During the Conservative leadership election, Jeff, Helen and Monika were fortunate to secure a meeting with key Johnson supporter and Romford MP, Andrew Rossindell.

No less than three days later, Mr Johnson wrote about mental health in ‘The Daily Telegraph’ and highlighted the importance of physical activity in preserving the good mental health and wellbeing of children.

Now, with Matt Hancock still in post as his Health Secretary, we hope to make further progress;  building upon what we have already told this Minister, instead of starting from scratch with somebody who is both new to the post and the issue.

We hope that our keen MP supporters will redouble their efforts and sharpen their pens again. I think Matt Hancock needs to receive some more letters in support of the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign!

Today, MPs sit at Westminster for the last time before a short recess.

The House re-opens for business on 3rd September; closing again for the short party political conference season. This means that many MPs will be in their constituencies and so I urge Registrants to step up their efforts to make contact with them.  We want them to sign EDM 2285 as a top priority. So far, 51 from all parties have done so but we need more!

Thank you also to Halifax MP, Holly Lynch who will meet Helen, Monika and Jeff at Westminster in the autumn.

If your MP has been helpful, please write to your local newspaper, and send us a link to the published article.

Above all, we will only succeed with a ‘grassroots’ constituency-based campaign as well as one necessarily benefitting from well-targeted Westminster activity.

We’re in it to win it – for children, their families and those who work for and with them.

 

23rd July, 2019 - Our grateful thanks today to Janet Daby MP for becoming the 50th MP to sign our EDM! This is a milestone – we now need another 50 signatures so that we will become a contender for a live debate on the floor of the House of Commons!

Thank you to all the MPs who have signed the EDM – and if you have not contacted your local MP as yet and asked them to sign, now is the time to do it!  Don’t forget to contact Monika and Jeff to let them know how you get on.

Helen was delighted to meet Janet at the House of Commons today and it is great to know that she will be using her considerable experience to help with the campaign.  

Tomorrow, Boris Johnson will take over as Prime Minister from Theresa May. He made some welcome references to mental health in his successful election campaign and now we really do need him to commit to including a Mental Health  Bill that prioritises the needs of children in his first Queen’s Speech.

We must make sure that children’s mental health is at the very top of his in-tray.

Help us to create another milestone by contacting your MP today!

 

22nd July, 2019 - CHILD MENTAL HEALTH CHARTER SUPPORTER ELECTED AS LIB DEM LEADER!  

The Child Mental Health Charter Campaign warmly extends its congratulations to Jo Swinson MP, who was elected today as the first ever woman leader of the Liberal Democratic Party.

We are especially delighted because Jo is one of those excellent and dedicated MPs from all parties who have signed Early Day Motion 2285.

Now our campaign has a party Leader as one of its registered supporters and this is wonderful news as we step up our campaign for a new Mental Health Act, prioritising the needs of children to be included in the next Queen’s Speech.

This is now a great time for every Registrant to redouble their valiant efforts to secure appointments with their local MPs to discuss our Child Mental Health Charter and the six essential Principles at its heart.

Jo’s election is great news and we congratulate her. 

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Jo and ALL our ‘Charter MPs’ for their ongoing and valuable support.


16 July, 2019 - BORIS JOHNSON SPEAKS OUT: DAILY TELEGRAPH 16th JULY 2019

‘Tackling any sort of decline in young people’s overall well-being will be a key pillar in my programme for government….. 

I can also clarify that any government I lead will seek to reduce childhood obesity and increase the amount of physical activities our children are exposed to. The health and wellbeing of the next generation of young people is a top priority for me…..

We have a responsibility to do all we can to facilitate and encourage healthy participation and continual engagement in sport. I am also aware that the mental health of our children …. is intrinsically tied to the positive link between participation and general wellbeing.’ 

We hope that Mr Johnson will build upon these observations, supported by the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign  and the APPG on A Fit and Healthy Childhood and will include a new Mental Health Bill,  prioritising the needs of children in his first Queen’s Speech if he becomes Prime Minister.

Reforming the woefully out-dated 1983 Act would indeed be a groundbreaking piece of domestic legislation. 

Helen Clark: APPG Lead Author and Spokesperson for the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign.


11th July, 2019 - We are delighted to report that David Amess MP who has been so helpful to our campaign has agreed to write to the new Prime Minister about the importance of including  Mental Health legislation (with the needs of children as outlined by our Charter Principles) in his first Queen’s Speech.

Jeff and Helen had an excellent meeting at Westminster with Andrew Rossindell MP and his team. Andrew agreed to help the campaign in a variety of ways and to impress upon the new Prime Minister (when appointed) the urgent need for a new Mental Health Act that fully serves the needs of 21st century children and their families.

Jeff explained that a welcome message would be an economic one! Our proposals would represent a good use of existing budgets and projections rather than simply ‘throwing money’ at a problem and hoping for the best. This might be a persuasive argument for Registrants to adopt when discussing the campaign with their local MPs.   


6th July, 2019 - Tom Brake has received a reply from Health Minister, Jackie Doyle Price in response to his letter written at our request.

And progress has now been made!

Ms Doyle-Price now states that the Government will be issuing a White Paper on Mental Health and this is extremely important as White Papers are used by Governments as public expressions of a firm intent to legislate.

Before we began our campaign, there was no guarantee of this at all – and indeed, we were told ‘off the record’ that the 2017 Green Paper would be all that the Government would be issuing on the matter of mental health. Green Papers have no official status and there is no obligation upon Government to implement their recommendations whatsoever.

Ms Doyle-Price also heralds an Autumn Awareness Campaign on Mental Health with some emphasis on the needs of babies, children and parents.

However, Mrs May will be out of 10 Downing Street in less than a month. It is now essential that we all redouble our efforts to encourage MPs to put pressure on the new Prime Minster to carry out Mrs May’s pledge to legislate.

If you have not made an appointment to see your local MP, please now make it a top priority. Do let Jeff, Monika and the campaign website team how you get on and if you need any help and advice we are here to help.

We are of course, most grateful to Tom for all his assistance, interest and enthusiasm.

It is very much appreciated as always.


1st July, 2019 - Our ground-breaking Child Mental Health Charter Campaign has NEVER been more timely or important.

Ahead of the Local Government Association’s Annual Conference in Bournemouth this week, the LGA have announced that:

  • Social Services are seeing more than 560 cases of child mental health disorders every day – an increase of more than 50% in just 4 years
  • Council leaders are calling for the Government to give a bumper financial boost to the funding of Children’s Services in the Spending Review
  • Children’s Services face a £3.1billion funding gap by 2025
  • Since 2010, Councils have seen an 84% increase in the number of children on child protection plans to keep them safe from harm

The LGA is today warning of ‘A children’s mental health crisis’ because Councils simply do not have the money to fund these vital services.

If Registrants have not yet arranged an appointment to see their local MP, NOW is the time to do it! 

This is vital in respect of all MPs,  but especially if the MP is a Conservative. He or she must be asked to tell Conservative leadership candidates, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt that children cannot wait. They must ask them to guarantee that under their tenure as Prime Minister, they will pledge to bring in a Bill to prioritise children’s mental health services in their very first Queen’s Speech

And remember!

No reform of the 1983 Mental Health Act will be fit for purpose unless the needs of children (as outlined in our Child Metal Health Charter) are right at the heart of any new reform!

Tell us how you get on!


30th June, 2019 - Nationally, news headlines have now been completely captured by the Conservative leadership contest between Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson.

We might have hoped that, with the candidate choice having now narrowed to a straight choice, there would have been the opportunity for a REAL debate on a full range of policies. Sadly, as ‘The Sunday Times’ tells us today, this contest has been reduced to the level of:

‘A hard Brexit bidding war’.

Candidates know only too well that their stewardship of the keys to Number 10 will depend on the votes of around 160,000 Conservative party members in the country. Rightly or wrongly, they are perceived to have judged that Brexit is the only issue that will interest this particular electorate.

NOW IS THE TIME TO PROVE THEM WRONG

The Child Mental Health Charter Campaign now asks all Registrants to write to their MP if they have not yet done so.

It is essential to write to MPs from all political parties, but it is especially important at this time if the local MP is a Conservative.

Ask your Conservative MP:

  • To sign EDM 2285 if they have not already done so
  • To write to Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson, asking them to commit to including a Bill to reform the 1983 Mental Health Act in their first Queen’s Speech, if elected as Conservative Leader and therefore, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • To show Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt a copy of the Child Mental Health Charter and to ask them if they will guarantee, that any new Mental Health legislation will prioritise the needs of children
  • To tell Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt that children, their parents and carers and all who work professionally with them, would welcome a statement from them during the leadership campaign, making those guarantees a solemn pledge
  • To ask if the MP will agree to have a photograph taken with the Registrant for publicity purposes, stating that they support the aims of the Charter and will campaign for a new Mental Health Act that is fit for 21st century children. 

Remember – we want to know how you get on!

Contact Monika, Jeff and the team with your feedback and any requests for help that you may have.


24th, June - Helen had an excellent meeting with Barry Sheerman MP at Westminster. Barry’s wealth of experience and breadth of knowledge on matters of child health and wellbeing are highly valued across the political divide in public life; especially through his distinguished Chairing for many years of the Education Select Committee and lately, the Westminster Commission on Autism ( responsible for the definitive report ‘A Spectrum of Obstacles’).

Barry congratulated the CMHC campaign on its notable contribution to the fact that:

  • Child mental health has now climbed to the top of the national policy agenda
  • The outgoing Prime Minister and Government have stated that they will legislate to improve the 1983 Mental Health Act in the interests of children’s mental health services
  • All candidates in the current Conservative leadership campaign have faced tough policy questions in their televised debates on child mental health.

We thank Barry very much indeed for his interest and commitment, and are delighted that he hopes to attend our Jubilee Room Reception on 29th October 2019, encourage other colleagues to sign the EDM and also support the efforts of Steve McCabe MP to obtain a Westminster Hall Debate

We also welcome his advice that: 

  • Registrants continue and step up their excellent efforts to date in engaging the interests of their MPs in the CMHC campaign nationally and locally and urge them to sign the EDM
  • The campaign maintains its inclusive ‘all party’ focus
  • We should aim to convince ALL political parties to put a commitment to legislate to improve child mental health in their General Election Manifestos
  • Early intervention approaches must be enshrined in any new Mental Health legislation – to include maternity provision
  • A National Register of Therapists that we propose in the Principles is vital in order to weed out poor practice and dangerous practice and also for safeguarding purposes
  • It is essential that training is prioritised for people with responsibility for mental health within schools; they cannot discharge these duties safely or effectively otherwise and all training MUST be properly funded and resourced.

11th - 21st June - MPs returned after a week’s short Whitsun Recess. However, they were certainly not inactive as far as our dynamic campaign is concerned! See below for the latest update:

  • Tom Brake MP, following an excellent meeting with Jeff, Monika and Helen, has now written  to Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP asking that he press for a reform of the 1983 Mental Health Act (prioritising the needs of children) to be included in the next Queen’s Speech. Matt was a candidate for the Conservative leadership that will be contested by Boris Johnson MP and Jeremy Hunt MP. Subsequently, Tom has promised to write to whoever the new Prime Minister is; requesting the inclusion of the Bill in the next Queens’ Speech. Tom has volunteered to publicise our campaign vis his social media outlets
  • Andrew Rossindell MP who is supporting Boris Johnson for the Conservative leadership has agreed to a meeting : on 11th July  at Westminster
  • Helen will meet Labour MP, Janet Daby on 23rd July at Westminster to ask for her support in the campaign
  • Shadow Communities Minister, Julie Cooper has submitted a Question for Oral Answer in the House of Commons Education Questions Ballot and is tabling some Written Questions for us. Many thanks to Julie for her invaluable ongoing support
  • Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP who will contest the Conservative leadership head to head with Boris Johnson MP became the first candidate to mention his plans to insist on mental health support for all children to be available in schools. WATCH THIS SPACE!!
  • Outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May affirmed that the Government intends to legislate to make good her commitment to correct the ‘burning injustices’ children are faced with in the mental health services
  • The first two Conservative leadership debates (Channel 4 and BBC1) included questions put to all the candidates about the need to radically improve children’s mental health services
  • Minister for Mental Health, Jackie Doyle-Price has promised to fix a meting with us following the intervention of Sir David Amess MP
  • It is now imperative that Registrants ask their local MPs to sign the EDM and to write to both Boris Johnson MP and Jeremy Hunt MP, asking them to guarantee that they will include a reform of the 1983 Mental Act Health Act in their first Queens; Speech (prioritising the needs of children)
  • Helen will meet with Barry Sheerman MP on 24th June at Westminster

12th June - Hearty congratulations to PTUK Registrant, Paula Brown! Paula contacted her local MP, Kerry McCarthy, hoping to interest her in our Child Mental Health Charter Campaign. Paula worked wonders, because Kerry responded by writing in support of the Charter Aims and Objectives to Minister, Jackie Doyle-Price MP.

Now the Minister has repeated her written pledge to George Howarth MP, stating again that the Government will introduce new mental health legislation prioritising the needs of children when parliamentary time allows. She also said that relevant Departmental Officials have agreed to meet with Jeff and Monika very soon to discuss the key issues. 

Well done once again to Paula! We hope that her tremendous success will inspire you all to approach your local MP about the campaign. Don’t forget to tell Jeff and Monika how you get on too!   

11th June - MPs returned today after a week’s short Whitsun Recess. However, they have certainly not been inactive as far as our dynamic campaign is concerned! See below for the latest update at the time of writing:

  • Tom Brake MP, following an excellent meeting with Jeff, Monika and Helen, has now written  to Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP asking that he press for a reform of the 1983 Mental Health Act (prioritising the needs of children) to be included in the next Queen’s Speech. Matt is also a candidate for the Conservative leadership so this is a very key ‘win’ for us and huge thanks to Tom who has also volunteered to publicise the Charter Campaign via his social media outlets
  • Andrew Rossindell MP who is supporting Boris Johnson for the Conservative leadership has agreed to a meeting (date to be confirmed)
  • Helen will meet Labour MP, Janet Daby on 23rd July at Westminster to ask for her support for the campaign
  • Shadow Communities Minister, Julie Cooper has submitted a Question for Oral Answer in the House of Commons Education Questions Ballot and is also preparing to table some Written Questions for us. Many thanks to Julie for her invaluable ongoing support
  • Conservative leadership front-runner, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP has become the very first candidate to mention his plans to insist on mental health support for all children to be available in schools. Thank you to Jeremy and WATCH THIS SPACE!!
  • Minister for Mental Health, Jackie Doyle-Price has promised to fix a meeting with us following the helpful intervention of Sir David Amess MP

22nd May - Helen Clark, Charter Campaign Spokesperson had a meeting at Westminster with Julie Cooper MP: Shadow Community Health Minister. 

Julie has agreed to submit some Education Questions for Oral Answer for us in the House of Commons. She has also agreed to table Written Education Questions.

Do YOU have an example of great practice? Is the school YOU work with setting a fantastic example for providing great mental health therapeutic services for children and young people? Can others learn from you and the ways in which you are working with your school?

If so, Julie wants to know!

Write up your example and send to Monika and Jeff (mokijep@majemail.com). Then Helen will edit the material and see that Julie receives it. 

  • MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE OBTAINED CONSENT FROM THE SCHOOL FOR ITS NAME TO BE USED BEFORE SUBMITTING ANY EXAMPLES

23rd May - Today the campaign was mentioned ‘in dispatches’ as the phrase goes – or rather, on the floor of the House of Commons! 

We are extremely grateful to Sir David Amess MP for bringing this campaign dynamically to the attention of MPs from ALL political parties when he praised it in the Debate on the Adjournment of the House. 

This is a traditional event that takes place before the House rises for recess and it is an excellent opportunity that is open for individual Members to mention any issue that they think is of great importance to their colleagues.

Sir David chose to mention the excellent work that Play Therapy UK and Jeff and Monika in particular are doing in the interests of children and all who care for them and work with them professionally in this way. 

Now it is more important than ever that all registrants contact their own constituency MP and ask them to follow Sir David’s excellent leadership in actively campaigning for a new Mental Health Act that will make the interests of children a very top priority. Great progress to date. 

Onwards and upwards tomorrow!   

22nd May - Following a meeting with Monika, Jeff and Helen at Westminster, Ruth George MP has agreed to put down some Written Questions for us.

17th May - On the 17th of May our Charter Campaign to achieve the inclusion of a Mental Health Bill prioritising the needs of children and young people in the next Queen’s Speech reached a unique new milestone, when Sir David Amess MP raised the issue for us at Business Questions on the floor of the House of Commons.  

Sir David Amess (Southend West) Con
Will my right hon, Friend find time for a debate on revisiting the Mental Health Act 1983 so that in new legislation we have as an absolute priority supporting young people and children? It is truly shocking that one in 10 young people and children has a mental health issue that lasts through their lives, and we must treat them in a better way than we do at present. 

Andrea Leadsom
My hon. Friend raises an incredibly important matter and it is particularly right that he should do so during mental health awareness week. I am pleased to be able to tell him that we have championed investment in children’s mental health services.  Last year there was an overall 17% increase in funding in real terms, to around £226 million, and spending by clinical commissioning groups has gone up by 33% since 2015-16 to £687 million, but my hon. Friend is absolutely right that more needs to be done, and that is why we have committed to transforming children’s mental health services through the NHS long-term plan.  

This is the very first live mention of the campaign in the House of Commons! 

It is one small, but absolutely vital step and for this, we are incredibly grateful to Sir David and his team at Westminster. One small step – but a tremendous boost for everyone trying to bring about this important life-change for children and young people, their  families and those who work professionally with them. 

Onwards and upwards towards success! And if you haven’t as yet contacted your own MP, we hope this will be your incentive to do so!

16th May - In relationship to moving the charter forward Monika and Jeff on behalf of PTUK saw Tom Brake at the Houses of Parliament. Tom has supported the EDM and has promised to contact more office colleagues to support the EDM motion.

7th May 2019 - Helen, Monika and Jeff met Ruth George MP at Westminster to discuss the campaign. Ruth has agreed to table some Written Questions to Ministers for us. 

Lead Campaign Spokesperson and writer for the APPG on A Fit and Healthy Childhood, Helen Clark is continuing to write to and liaise with parliamentarians, requesting meetings and asking for their assistance in advancing the Charter Campaign.

Our registrants (below) have contacted their MPs with results as listed. If you have nto as yet, contacted your own constituency MP, please do so at the earliest opportunity. Do contact Monika and Jeff for advice as to how to do this effectively and remember – we need you to feed back to us about exactly what was agreed/promised at any meetings that you secure. 

Above all, remember that the campaign is still in its very early stages. We have made a great start – BUT IT IS A START!!!!PTUK will keep you informed about progress every step of the way but do remember – WE need to hear from YOU too!  

Happy campaigning!  

30th April 2019 - Helen Clark, Monika and Jeff met Sir David Amess MP at Westminster. Sir David agreed to ask a Business Question to Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom MP (see the website for the Question and response – a first for the campaign). Sir David also agreed to approach Ministers Nusrat Ghani, Jackie Doyle Price and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock about the issues.

30th April 2019 - Phil Royal and Kate Day form Royal Public Affairs met Monika and Jeff at the PTUK offices, to discuss the structure of the inter-sector campaign and connected dynamic relationships with child mental health service practitioners and professionals. This was followed by a meeting at Westminster with Steve McCabe MP, Chair of the APPG on a Fit and Healthy Childhood. He agreed to investigate the possibility of applying for an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons on the issues outlined in the Charter

7th March 2019 - Helen Clark and Phil Royal from the APPG on A Fit and Healthy Childhood and Royal Public Affairs met Monika and Jeff at the Offices of PTUK. It was agreed to launch the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign. See the campaign website for our activities undertaken so far: www.childmentalhealthcharter.com 

30th January 2019 - Reception for ‘Children’s Mental Health Beyond the Green Paper, The Role of Practice Based Evidence’House of Commons Terrace Pavilions.

MPs, university academics and other professionals in the sector attended this lively reception together with a number of registrants  to launch the above, widely publicised and well-received Report, sponsored for the All Party Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood by Play Therapy UK. It proved to be an excellent opportunity to discuss the urgent need to address the crisis in children’s mental health services in friendly and convivial surroundings and for attendees to network and share exciting ideas for future campaigning initiatives.

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