Children’s National Mental Health week – 3-9 February 2020 – Helen Clark writes

CHILDREN’S NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH WEEK

3rd – 9th February 2020

This important week is a brilliant early opportunity in 2020 for all supporters of the Child Mental Health Charter to make an appointment to see their local MP.

At your meeting, tell them about the Child Mental Health Charter; ask them if they will support the Pledge for MPs and give the MP a copy of the Pledge from our website www.childmentalhealthcharter.com .

Please then contact Campaign Spokesperson Helen Clark on helenrclark@ntlworld.com and tell us how you got on.

Remember!

This is a BIG year and a GREAT OPPORTUNITY for the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign and for everyone who supports our Six Charter Principles.

In the Queen’s Speech of December 2019, the new Government gave a commitment to reform the 1983 Mental Health Act. Yet no mention was made of the urgent needs of children and unless policies for children’s mental health (based on the Six Charter Principles) are at the very heart of the reform, any new measures are doomed to fail.

For the sake of children, their parents and all who care for them and work professionally with them, we CANNOT allow that to happen, so please make an extra effort this week to contact your MP.

Anne Longfield, England’s Commissioner for Children knows that the crisis is serious and getting worse.

In her Report on Children’s Mental Health Services, published in January 2020, Anne Longfield warned that a chasm remains between the current levels of NHS services and what children actually need. This is because:

  • Children account for 20% of the population but only 10% of total mental health spending
  • The Government has no plans for a comprehensive children’s mental health service in every area
  • There is still no commitment to provide a mental health counsellor in every school and children’s mental health remains the poor relation of NHS spending; receiving a fraction of the money invested in adults
  • Most areas are still spending less than 1% of their budget on children’s mental health services and the ‘postcode lottery’ of care means that some areas are years ahead of others in improving services.

In this, the Sixth National Children’s Mental Health Week, we ask everyone to do just one thing to put this issue on the map.

Making an appointment to see your MP is an excellent way of doing that. You may have some other excellent ideas as well.

IF SO, WE WANT TO KNOW, SO PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH HELEN, MONIKA AND JEFF.

Let’s make this week special for children and families everywhere!

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