In a joint report, both the Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee and the Chair of the Education Committee have commented that the Green Paper on Mental Health is failing a generation.
They comment that there are some real concerns around the drawn out timeframe of implementation and that many children and young people will not benefit.
Further comments are made on more specific issues in respect of the Green Paper, for example, the strain that schools and colleges will be under. This is especially given their already stretched resources. They comment that staff also require support, and the government must be careful not to overburden professionals by the demands of the Green Paper.
The report also considers that some issues have not been effectively considered in the Green Paper, including exam pressure; exclusion of pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs; the transition to adult care; and key demographic groups where there are higher levels of needs.
Given the relevant feedback it is hoped that the Green Paper can be used, as intended, to improve mental health provision for all.
Chair of the Education Committee, Rob Halfon MP, says, "The Government must back up its warm words by taking urgent action to address the mental health issues which children and young people face today. This strategy does not go far enough, which raises the very real prospect of hundreds of thousands of children missing out on the getting the help they so desperately need. We heard of the strong links between social disadvantage and mental health issues. If the Government is serious about tackling injustices in our society, it must ensure proper targeted funding of support for those most in need. Ministers should also recognise the separate support needs of apprentices and FE students. Social media is an increasing part of young people’s lives.."