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BPS News

BPS urges action on child mental health after select committees’ report

02 May 2017

The British Psychological Society has welcomed the publication of the education and health committees' joint report 'Children and young people’s mental health: The role of education'.

The report highlights the urgent need to improve mental health services for children and young people. Its findings echo the Society’s concerns over cuts to school budgets and the reduction of frontline mental health services in schools.

Professor Peter Kinderman, President of the Society, said:

“For far, far too many children there is a lack of access to appropriate services.  Waiting lists are unacceptably long despite early intervention being essential.  The cuts to school and Local Authority budgets have resulted in a significant reduction in early intervention services and a worrying drop in counsellors in schools. 

Service Commissioners are key to improvement and should focus upon psychologically informed, evidence based, community interventions and preventative measures.  Community psychological approaches are proven to build resilience in children, young people, their families and communities.”

The report emphasises that teachers are not mental health professionals and require additional support and training to enable the early identification of signs and symptoms.  Greater investment in services and the mental health workforce is then needed to ensure that this growing need is met.   

The Society urges the incoming government to ensure a more in depth select committee inquiry is completed and that the long-anticipated green paper on children and young people's mental health is delivered without undue delay. 

You can read Children and young people’s mental health: The role of education on the parliament website.

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