Prime Minister Theresa May has been deeply cynical by raising hopes that she is planning to tackle the crisis in young people’s mental health, while not providing the resources to do so.
In an exchange with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt last night in the House of Commons, I said:
Young people in Sheffield have for some time now been telling me that they are waiting 25 weeks for an appointment with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. Headteachers are telling me that they are digging into their budgets to buy in support for pupils in crisis, because they cannot access NHS services. Is it not deeply cynical for the Prime Minister to be raising hopes that we will be tackling the mental health crisis of our young people when the measures and the money that have been announced fall so desperately short of what we need?
The situation is shocking. I met with lots of groups of young people during my recent community consultation, the Big Conversation, and access to mental health services was raised time and again. It’s frankly insulting to say that the problem can be addressed with mental health first aid training for teachers and self-help groups organised by young people themselves. Of course they can play a role, but the priority is funding for proper services and that’s what Theresa May won’t offer.
You can find out more about my work for better mental health services here.