Sir David Amess MP asks a question in the Commons – Helen Clark reports

The Child Mental Health Charter arose from the APPG’s recent, well-received Reports on Child Mental Health; specifically ‘Practice Based Evidence’; kindly sponsored by APPG members, Monika Jephcott and Jeff Thomas from Play Therapy UK (PTUK).

You can read the Charter by following this link and we hope that you will sign up to its six principles, both as individuals and organisations. The campaign website can be found at

On May 16th, 2019 the Charter campaign to achieve the inclusion in the next Queen’s Speech of a Mental Health Bill prioritising the needs of children and young people reached a unique new milestone, when Sir David Amess MP raised the issue for us at Business Questions on the floor of the House of Commons.

The Hansard reads as follows:

Sir David Amess (Southend West) Con
Will my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on revisiting the Mental Health Act 1983 so that in new legislation we have as an absolute priority supporting young people and children? It is truly shocking that one in 10 young people and children has a mental health issue that lasts through their lives, and we must treat them in a better way than we do at present.
Andrea Leadsom
My hon. Friend raises an incredibly important matter and it is particularly right that he should do so during mental health awareness week. I am pleased to be able to tell him that we have championed investment in children’s mental health services.  Last year there was an overall 17% increase in funding in real terms, to around £226 million, and spending by clinical commissioning groups has gone up by 33% since 2015-16 to £687 million, but my hon. Friend is absolutely right that more needs to be done, and that is why we have committed to transforming children’s mental health services through the NHS long-term plan.

This is the very first live mention of the campaign in the House of Commons. It is one small, but absolutely vital step and for this we are incredibly grateful to Sir David and his team at Westminster. One small step – but a tremendous boost for everyone trying to bring about this important life-change for children and young people, their families and those who work professionally  with them.

Onwards and upwards towards success!

Helen Clark, 17/05/19

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