School mental health counsellors needed in our area

Having campaigned for better mental health support for young people, I welcome Labour's pledge to put a trained counsellor in every school.

My survey of local schools last year found nearly all had seen mental health worsen.

I then took local headteachers to see the schools minister Nick Gibb, which helped win £1.7m from the government for extra mental health support in schools.

The number of children experiencing mental health problems is increasing, and I know through constituency casework how hard parents find getting help. Our mental health services are stretched to breaking point and have long waiting lists.

We need to invest fully in frontline mental health support.

Labour has pledged an additional £845 million per year for a Healthy Young Minds plan that will:

  • Establish a network of open access mental health hubs to enable 300,000 more children to access mental health support directly.
  • Recruit almost 3,500 qualified, on-site secondary school counsellors to ensure accessible pathways to mental health support.
  • Ensure access to a qualified counsellor for every primary school in Britain to ensure early prevention and identification of psychological issues.
  • Work to develop and publish a cross-departmental national strategy to better address adverse childhood experiences and childhood trauma

Labour’s plan tackles the lack of treatment and early intervention. In 2017, it was estimated that over 100,000 children who had been referred to a mental health specialist did not receive treatment.

Approximately 185,784 young people were referred to specialists NHS CAMHS services yet only 78,847 received support. CAMHS appointments can cover a range of issues for people aged under 18, including: eating disorders, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, anxiety and depression.

Under the Conservatives, 4,700 mental health nurses have gone.

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