Young peoples well-being and mental health is one of the most important issues highlighted by the effects of covid. As your MP and a father myself it is of great concern. Cuts to Children’s services over the last decade has had a tremendous negative affect on young people.
The Children’s Society has been measuring children’s well-being for over a decade, and during much of this time it has been in decline.
There is certainly no doubt in my mind that children’s health is a national priority. The Government must focus determinedly on improving the health and well-being of every child.
I have raised the issue of mental health provisions in schools a number of times in Parliament, via written questions. These questions and the answers from relevant ministers can be viewed by following the links below:
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to mental health services in schools.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to on-campus counselling for students at Universities in England.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will bring forward proposals to encourage universities and other higher education providers to improve access to mental health services for students.
The Good Childhood Report 2020 found that 15-year olds in the UK were among the saddest and least satisfied with their lives in Europe. The report further found that the coronavirus pandemic affected children’s happiness negatively due to the lack of choice they had in life.
This eye-opening report lays bare the stark pressures and difficulties faced by young people in the UK, compared to those in other European countries. Children and young people have been left behind long before coronavirus, but throughout this pandemic they have not been prioritised for the support they need.
With children in the UK ranking lowest for life satisfaction across Europe, I am concerned this shows that the Government is out of touch with the real struggles faced by young people.
It is time for the Government to finally provide a comprehensive measurement of children’s well-being in order to properly quantify changes and target resources.
I will certainly be pressing the Government to do this and provide the necessary funding required to ensure are children can access services and support they may require.
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