For information and support, visit http://www.buildsoundminds.org.uk
In Westminster, I was joined by many exceptional young people and mental health experts from the leading charity, Action for Children, to support the parliamentary launch of ‘Build Sound Minds’ – a campaign to help children and teenagers build good mental health and emotional well-being.
A third of 15 to 18-year-olds assessed by Action for Children were found to be suffering from mental health issues. Pupils in need of support have been taking part in the Blues Programme, the first ever UK-wide early help intervention for teenage depression. Ahead of Children’s Mental Health Week (4th-10th February), I pledge to support the charity’s campaign, which aims to improve children and teenager’s mental health by providing families with accessible information, tools and tips.
At the parliamentary launch, I said:
“The most recent official figures show one in nine children between 5-15 experiencing a mental health disorder. This simply can’t go on. Acting early can help stop problems in their tracks and its vital we do everything we can, not only to help these young people, but to prevent these problems coming about in the first place.”
“That’s why I’m pleased to be supporting Action for Children’s work through Build Sound Minds, and I am encouraged young people of all ages across Huddersfield to look out for their own wellbeing and to seek support early if they’re struggling.”
The chief executive of Action for Children, Julie Bentley, said:
“Just like our physical health, our emotional wellbeing needs care and attention. And the first step in doing this is to create a positive conversation about mental health. Every day we support children and teenagers who are struggling for a number of reasons. Some are concerned about their futures, many are dealing with the intense pressure of school work and others are experiencing problems at home, all while navigating a complex 24/7 world with constant stimulation from social media.”
“Its no wonder that things can sometimes become too much for young people to handle. But with the backing of MPs like Barry, Action for Children can support young people to deal with their feelings from an earlier age, help prevent problems from starting and allow them to bounce back quickly if they do.”
Julie is right. To support young people, the people who represent our future, we must engage in a positive conversation about mental health and create an environment where young people feel secure enough to come forward and speak about the state of their mental health. I wholeheartedly support this campaign and I would like to thank Action for Children for their outstanding work.