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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

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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