Barnardo’s responds to Jeremy Hunt’s Green Paper on children’s mental health

“We are pleased the Government recognises transformational change is required to solve the crisis in children’s mental health and we welcome the focus on early intervention.

“We are very pleased the Government has recognised the essential role schools can play in a whole system approach to mental health and welcome the proposal to create mental health leads in every school. We are pleased to see the ‘whole school approach’ proposed will build children’s resilience as well as provide early support where necessary.

“We have long called for children to have access to counsellors in school so the proposal to create mental health support teams is very welcome. We know however, that not all children and young people requiring support attend school and therefore hope the proposals will include an element of choice to children and young people in terms of location of support.

“We also welcome the indication that there will be further research on how to support the most vulnerable families and would hope to see vulnerable children, young people and families themselves at the heart of designing potential solutions.

“The introduction of a maximum four week waiting time for children and young people who need to access Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services is welcomed. It is important that in the implementation plans for the pilots the Government clarifies that this first appointment is a proper step towards receiving support.

“It is appreciated that the Government realises this level of transformational change does require additional spending and the £300m proposed will support the creation of solutions for the crisis in children’s mental health. This level of funding should be kept under review however, and more funding made available if required to bring about the necessary transformational change. Our children deserve this much.”

Javed Khan

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