MPs warn child mental health plans 'lack ambition'

Posted May 11, 2018

Other events include a workshop on cooking for better mental health on a budget and a talk about online mental health.

The Centers for Disease Control reported up to 20 percent of children in the US suffer from a mental health disorder.

The committees also warned that the timetable for implementation - which will see proposals rolled out to just 20 to 25 per cent of areas during a "trailblazer phase" over the next five years - ignores the needs hundreds of thousands of children who will go without the support while it is rolled out.

"A mental health issue and a physical health issue, why do they look so different when it comes to getting supports that are needed?" asked Dr. Sarah Davidon, research director at Mental Health Colorado and faculty member at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said, 'It's hard to see how government could contemplate any children's mental health policy that doesn't begin with the role of early years professionals in promoting mental well-being in young children. The Government's plans will fail a generation.

"I think we need to think about mental health the way we think about physical health".

The Ministry of Education is addressing early intervention and prevention in schools by adding more supports, so students can begin to discuss mental-health challenges with their teachers or counsellors as soon as these issues develop.

The designation of May as Mental Health Month was started 69 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone.

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Davidon noted that the mental health system is now quite different than the physical health system - there has been a growing focus on wellness and prevention for physical health but this is not the case for mental health.

"Change the conversation with children that maybe have behavioral health issues or mental health issues", Gallagher said.

"We agree that every young person should be able to access mental health support - however we need to ensure we get this right, which is why we will pilot this approach to make sure services are correct".

More information can also be found on the CMHA's Mental Health Week at mentalhealthweek.ca or at the VCH website at vch.ca/your-care/mental-health-substance-use. "Given both the negative and positive impacts it can have on young people's mental health, social media education should be made a compulsory part of PHSE in all schools".

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the report confirmed his concerns that the government's plans for improving mental health support for children and young people do not go "far enough or fast enough".

"The Government's plans do little to improve support for the most vulnerable groups of children, including those affected by sexual abuse and neglect, domestic violence and drug and alcohol misuse, those excluded from school and refugee children".

"Mental health treatment for children continues to fall short on key standards, such as access and waiting times; the Tories" proposals do nothing to address these problems and will instead heap pressure on hard-pressed teachers and overstretched services.