Mental Health

29th June 2017

Newly re-elected MP, Anne Main, used yesterday’s health debate on the Queen’s speech to raise the issue of young people with mental health problems.

In her speech on the Address, Mrs Main said that it is, ‘sadly the case that many young people have very troubled existences in school, and it sometimes takes quite a long while to get a diagnosis that they are suffering from mental health problems.’

The St Albans MP suggested to, ‘the Secretary of State that as we go forward with child mental services we look at how we can seamlessly integrate them with the schooling that children are receiving, or often missing out on as a result of their conditions. Parents who come to visit my surgery tell me that too often there are two silos where they are raising the same issues and problems—the school system and the child mental health services system—and they are having to do so over and over again because there is no transference of knowledge about the individual’s case.’

‘If a child or young person is experiencing a period of ill health, bad health or a crisis, that information should be seamlessly conveyed to the school. I know that there are all sorts of issues to do with protection of privacy, but if a young person’s opportunities to gain educational qualifications are slipping away and it is impossible for them to be home schooled or receive tutor support at home because of a lack of dialogue, we need to address that. That is why I am pleased about the proposed Green Paper, which will address how families can access information about mental health and treatment for loved ones, and how the Mental Health Act has been implemented on the ground.’

Mrs Main was singled out by the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, for her ‘powerful’ speech when he said, ‘Mental ​health is a very big priority for the Government, particularly children and young people’s mental health […] It is particularly important to have better links between the schools sector and the NHS if we are to crack this problem. We have a Green Paper coming up later in the year that will seek to address that.’

Speaking after the debate, Mrs Main commented that, ‘it was important to raise the issue of children’s mental health at this point, following its welcomed inclusion in the legislative programme.

‘My point is that there are not hard lines between services.  There are only porous or grey lines.  By joining up authorities and services we can have a better level of treatment and care for our young people.’

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