You may remember back in May that Dr Lisa Cameron and 65 fellow MPs wrote to Gavin Williamson about the impact of the pandemic on children. You can read the letter here. Now he has replied:
Helen Clark, Lead Author of the APPG and Campaign Manager for the Child Mental Health Charter, says:
The response of the Secretary of State for Education to Dr Lisa Cameron MP about the impact of Covid-19 on children’s mental health leaves out more than it promises.
Advice notes and online training tools are nothing more nor less than a ‘do it yourself’ approach to addressing children’s mental health needs in school.
There is no pledge to provide trained properly qualified specialist counsellors in schools or that those concerning themselves with children’s mental health must satisfy the fitness to practice requirements of a Government-approved register.
Worst of all, this has a voluntary feel to it – where is the safeguard of legislation?
The most important thing that can be done right now for children’s mental health, further endangered by Covid-19, is for the Prime Minister to introduce a new Mental Health Bill (as promised in the December 2019 Queen’s Speech) with children’s mental health as the top priority. The measures should be underpinned by the Six Principles as set out in the Child Mental Health Charter. Please ask your MP to support the campaign by signing EDM 685 (Effect of the Covid-19 outbreak on children’s mental health) and the Charter today.Helen Clark, APPG Lead Author and Campaign Manager for the Child Mental Health Charter