06/04/20 – Starmer Upgrades Mental Health Role to Shadow Cabinet Post – IN ITs OWN RIGHT. Helen Clark writes

Helen Clark, Lead Author for the APPG on A Fit and Healthy Childhood has warmly welcomed the appointment of Rosena Allin-Khan as Shadow Minister for Mental Health in Labour Leader Keir Starmer’s new Shadow Cabinet. 

The APPG on A Fit and Healthy Childhood has published three widely reviewed Reports on the mental health of children and the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign arose from this work

Helen Clark, who is also Spokesperson for the Charter Campaign, said: 

‘This appointment marks an historic landmark in the way that mental health – and in particular, children’s  mental health – is regarded in public life. For the very first time, the Labour Party has made the post of Mental Health Minister a full Shadow Cabinet post  instead of being a junior front bench role.

Our APPG and  the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign have argued  that we are facing  a most severe crisis in in children’s  mental  health  problems and we have demanded that the forthcoming amendments  to the 1983 Mental Health Act (as announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the December 2019 Queen’s Speech)  MUST include the urgent needs of children at the heart of the new legislation. 

This is the very first time that the role of Mental Health Minister has been given Shadow Cabinet status  by any political party. It indicates indeed that the Labour Party, Her Majesty’s Official  Opposition under the new leadership of Keir Starmer, is giving this issue the utmost importance. I would like to congratulate Rosena in particular at this time. She has  kindly addressed our APPG in the past and I am looking forward to meeting  her in her new role once the lockdown is over. Meanwhile, it is wonderful  that the MP who has returned  selflessly to the frontline as an A&E doctor at this time of national  emergency will drive the Official Opposition’s policy on children’s mental health.   They will be in safe hands  with Dr Khan.’ 

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