DAILY MIRROR’S MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGN: ‘FAILING OUR KIDS’
During the week of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, ‘The Daily Mirror’ has launched a mental health campaign, calling upon the Prime Minister to stop UK mental health services ‘failing our kids.’
Using several real-life case histories, the paper provides a Prime Ministerial ‘could do better list’ in the style of a school report card; citing the following as ‘Areas in need of urgent improvement’:
- Children falling through the cracks, with a third estimated to be turned away from specialist mental health services despite GP referral
- Three times as many desperate parents having to struggle to pay for private care
- Children’s services needing £1.49 billion alone
- Services ‘cut to the bone’ before the pandemic. Many only able to offer care to those at most risk of harming themselves, and having to reprioritise ‘moderate’ conditions like eating disorders, anxiety and depression
- Waiting times still long, promised new targets will not come in until 2023/4.
The Mirror’s campaign is called ‘Headstrong: Better Mental Health For All’ and calls for:
- Early Access Mental Health Hubs for ‘under 25s’ to be rolled out across the country, with at least one for each trust. These walk-in centres allow young people to get easy drop-in support on a self-referral basis
- Waiting times to be cut so people actually start treatment with a professional within four weeks
- The Government to fill in the gaps in care, end the red tape which means many don’t fit the set criteria to get help; plus urgently recruit 8,500 more mental health staff
- Compulsory Mental Health education lessons in schools, plus paid counsellors in schools and care homes.
The paper urges its readers to write to their MP, asking them to sign Early Day Motion 459 to debate mental health and the pandemic in Parliament.