Blog John, Mental Health

Government plans to tackle mental health crisis ‘will fail a generation’ (John)

As a mature student currently sitting a degree, I’ve become only to well aware that our latest generation of bright young people are facing major obstacles in their lives. They have no hope of a home, they are saddled with huge debts for an education, there is no real social support network to stop them from descending into extreme poverty, they work zero hours contracts where they have no rights and are worked to the point of exhaustion. Put it all together and we have pretty much removed hope from a generation. 

All of this is causing a crisis in the mental well being of the aforementioned. I’ve provided a link below to this original article from the Guardian on how not only is government policy majorly impacting on them but also how we are ill prepared to deal with the outcome. I’ve pasted the rest of the article below.

Government plans to tackle the mental health crisis among young people will fail a generation who desperately need help, two committees of MPs warn today.

Proposals in a green paper to “transform” NHS mental health care for young people through maximum four-week waiting times to access help and improved support in schools will take too long to effect real change, the committees say.

In a joint report, the Commons health and social care and education select committees criticise the plans as unambitious and inadequate given the fast-rising need for care and too reliant on already overworked teachers.

Although ministers have pledged to introduce maximum waiting times is only to be made available across up to a quarter of England by 2022-23.

“The suggested speed of delivery will leave hundreds of thousands of children with no improvements in provision for several years and with possibly worsened provision if staff leave to join trailblazer areas elsewhere,” the report says.

Children’s charities, mental health groups, teaching unions and health organisations have endorsed the committees’ findings.

Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “The crisis in child mental health provision will not be ‘transformed’ by the unambitious proposals in the government’s green paper. A government that’s complacent about child poverty and relaxed about excessive testing in schools can’t claim to care about young people’s mental health.”

At least 10% of children and young people are thought to suffer from anxiety, depression, self-harm, eating disorders or other mental health conditions. The numbers of under-18s seeking and receiving NHS care have soared over the last decade. But only a quarter who need help get it, according to Public Health England .

Javed Khan, the chief executive of Barnardo’s, said: “The government risks missing a golden opportunity to radically transform a failing mental health system. Despite Theresa May describing it as a ‘burning injustice’ that required a new approach from government, we now find ourselves sleep-walking into a deepening mental health crisis.”

The government’s plans are based on three key elements: a teacher at every school and college becoming its designated lead for mental health; help for schools from new mental health support teams; and the guarantees of help within four weeks.

However, the report adds: “The proposals put more pressure on the teaching workforce without sufficient resources.”

It highlights the negative impact of social media on young people’s mental wellbeing and suggests that pupils should be taught about the benefits and risks of social media as part of the school curriculum.

Jeremy Hunt, the health and social care secretary, last month claimed that social media companies’s alleged failure to enact safeguards to control young people’s access was “morally wrong” and “unfair on parents”.

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