Today Dr Lisa Cameron MP served notice on Secretary of State Matt Hancock that a nation is waiting for him to get his act together and announce a Covid-19 Mental Health Recovery Strategy without delay.
Dr Cameron pointed to a new survey that has revealed a sharp rise in anxiety and depression amongst young people and reminded the Secretary of State that the charity ‘Action for Children’ had asked the Government to prioritise children’s mental health in its Covid Recovery Planning; providing sufficient funding to meet the demand.
In his reply, Matt Hancock acknowledged the severity of the problem but we are still waiting to hear anything from him in terms of a strategy to address what is fast becoming a national crisis.
Helen Clark, Lead Author for the APPG on a Fit and Healthy Childhood said:
It is great that Dr Cameron has put Matt Hancock on the spot about the Government’s lack of a mental health strategy to help the children and young people and their families who have suffered damage to their mental health and wellbeing as a consequence of the pandemic.
Indeed, their troubles might only just be beginning as we confront the new spike in Covid-19 and could even be on the brink of Phase Two of this terrible virus.
Before that happens, it is essential that the Secretary of State and the Government he represents listen to concerned parliamentarians like Dr Cameron, charities like ‘Action for Children’ and ‘Rethink Mental Illness’ and the many health and education professionals and individual families who are saying that the Government must act now to avert a mental health outbreak that, like the virus, we struggle to control.
Rest assured, we will continue to ask the questions until the answers are an improvement upon the one given by the Secretary of State today.
So, just for the record, our question once again is this:
When can we expect the Secretary of State to announce his Covid Recovery Mental Health Strategy? Anybody listening out there in Government?!Helen Clark, APPG Lead Author