Action for Children responds to the Education and Health and Social Care Committees’ report - The Government’s Green Paper on mental health: failing a generation.

Posted by Media team / Wednesday 09 May 2018 /

Director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, Imran Hussain, said:

“This joint report from two influential select committees makes clear the government’s mental health proposals for children are seriously flawed and likely to let down the children most in need of their help.

“The cross-party report echoes the concerns Action for Children has made by saying the government’s whole approach is fundamentally unambitious; it is too narrow, provides help too late and the timescale for delivery is far too slow.  

“Like everyone else, MPs are disturbed that for all the talk of early intervention, early years settings are invisible in the government’s plans. As the report highlights, no consideration is given to the role children’s centres and health visitors play in boosting very young children’s emotional resilience and identifying any issues children’s primary caregivers may be grappling with - a particular concern, considering the fact essential services children’s centres offer are at risk due to a lack of funding.

“With 28 per cent of preschool children facing difficulties that can impact on their mental health, it’s imperative the Government commits to doing more for this group.

“The government’s approach also fails to look at the mental health needs of children in care. Almost half of children in care have a diagnosable mental health issue and 61 per cent are in care due to abuse and neglect – experiences that have a profound impact on a child’s mental health. The scope of the current proposals is far too narrow - how can we expect to tackle this increasing problem if we don’t address the early years, children in care or those who may find it harder to engage at school?

“Like us, MPs on both committees are disappointed with the suggested speed of delivery – it is unacceptable that, even the group of children who will receive improved support, will not see it for several years.

“The government is right to say it wants to prioritise children’s mental health, but the strategy it consulted on fails to meet its ambitions.”

 

ENDS

 

Director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, Imran Hussain, is available for interview.

 

Media contact: Huw Beale, Action for Children – 07718 114 038 / [email protected]

 

Out of hours: 07802 806 679 / [email protected]

 

NOTES TO EDITOR

 

  • Action for Children helps disadvantaged children across the UK through fostering or adoption, by intervening early to stop neglect and abuse, by influencing policy, and by making life better for disabled children. With over 600 services the charity improves the lives of 370,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers every year. actionforchildren.org.uk