HENRY SMITH MP CALLS FOR GREATER MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Henry Smith MP has raised the issue of mental health support for young people with a Health Minister in the House of Commons on Tuesday, 7th July.
“While I’m pleased that the Government are ensuring that mental health is given as great a priority as physical health, there’s still lots more work to be done. I was pleased to be able to ask the Minister of State for Community and Social Care what he and his colleagues are doing to ensure the correct support is provided.
“The West Sussex Youth Cabinet have also been raising this issue and I was pleased to discuss this matter with them last week as well as pay tribute to them in the Commons. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with them on this subject, which is of such importance to so many people.”
Henry Smith, Member of Parliament for Crawley, asked the Minister of State for Community and Social Care;
“What steps the Government are taking to improve support for children and young people with mental health problems.”
The Minister of State for Community and Social Care, Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, responded;
“Improving children’s mental health services is one of my highest priorities. We want to achieve this by integrating mental health services for children and young people through a major transformation programme backed by additional funding; by expanding the children and young people’s access to psychological therapies; and by working with the Department for Education to develop single points of contact for mental health in schools.”
Henry Smith MP continued;
“I pay tribute to the West Sussex youth cabinet that is looking into the issue of mental health provision for young people. Why does the Minister believe this area has been chronically underfunded for so long, and will he give me an assurance that this will not be the case in the future?”
The Minister of State for Community and Social Care responded;
“I agree with my hon. Friend when he commends the involvement of young people in discussing their services. Only last week, the Under-Secretary of State for Education, my hon. Friend the Member for East Surrey (Mr Gyimah) and I attended a youth select committee organised by the British Youth Council to do something very similar.
“There are two reasons why I think these services have not been so good in the past. First, there is the difficulty of collecting information and data; and, secondly, there is the complexity of financing for services. I hope that we will address both of those, and we will ensure that people know about this so that things do not slide back by being more transparent about both.”
For video of this exchange in the House of Commons, please visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EOzGNUIpMM
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