Why we need action this Children's Mental Health Week
This Children's Mental Health Week, we want more than awareness - we want action for young people's mental health
We need awareness but we also need action
This week is Children’s Mental Health Week, when thousands of schools across the country will be raising awareness about mental health. Despite being one of many mental health awareness campaigns happening each year, the reality is, it is still very much needed.
When we surveyed young people with mental health problems, we found that 61% didn’t initially ask for help because they were worried what other people would think. On our Parents Helpline, we hear from distraught parents whose children have self-harmed for years before telling their family how they are feeling.
We know, like many of you do, that reaching out for help is incredibly difficult, and raising awareness about mental health is important for a young person struggling and helps others around them understand what’s going on. But for those of you that take that brave step to reach out, far too many are told they do not meet the threshold for treatment or face waiting months for any support.
This is why, during Children's Mental Health Week, we want more than awareness - we want action for young people's mental health
In recent years, there have been some welcome initiatives to tackle the mental health crisis facing children and young people, but there is much more to do. The current Government is yet to show the same level of interest in children’s mental health as the previous one. However, with more children looking for help, there is absolutely no room for complacency.
We’re calling for early intervention to be a genuine priority and for a cross-government strategy that looks at the factors that makes young people’s mental health worse. Last year, thanks to you, our Act Early campaign made an impact in the lead up to the election. Over 70,000 of you signed our petition and hundreds of potential MPs signed up to our pledge.
But we’re not there yet. What we’d like to see is the Government taking meaningful action by committing to a cross-government strategy. Other countries, like New Zealand, have promised to make wellbeing a priority in all policy areas. We need to do the same in the UK, making sure that no new polices have a detrimental impact on children’s mental health. Otherwise we are simply giving with one hand and taking away with the other. There is no point recruiting more mental health professionals while also adding to the pressures children face.
We need your help to make this happen
We know that many of you feel like your voice isn’t heard. We want you to know that by joining our campaign you are part of a movement that is fighting for children and young people’s mental health.
At the end of March, YoungMinds Activists will be hosting an event in Parliament and we need you to make sure your MP is there. Sign up to our newsletter and we’ll send you details of how you can do this in the next few weeks. Join our movement and be part of a growing number of people that are taking action and calling for change.
Join the movement - sign up to our mailing list
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