Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North
Feb
10

Mental Health for Children

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 10 February 2021 09:34

It was a pleasure to meet with the Action for Children team recently, listening to how their school schemes, and other projects, have helped so many children with their mental health.

Mental health problems affect children of all ages. Worryingly, the latest NHS figures show one in six children had a probable mental health disorder in 2020 – an increase of almost half in three years, with the Covid-19 pandemic likely to have further detrimental effects on mental health.

Because of these concerning statistics, I wanted to see how Action for Children could help children in Norwich North with any mental health issues they may be experiencing. 

I found out that Action for Children delivers a range of interventions to support and promote good mental health and emotional wellbeing. Programmes such as Bouncing Back and the Blues Programme equip young people with the skills and tools they need to manage their emotional wellbeing and reduce the risk of more intense mental health issues, while Parent Talk offers free online support for parents.

Almost three-quarters (72%) of pupils completing the Blues Programme have improved their mental health and emotional wellbeing, and 87% completing Bouncing Back know when to ask for help. These include pupils in Norfolk schools.

Further information for schools on the Blues Programme can be found here: www.actionforchildren.org.uk/our-work-and-impact/children-and-families/good-mental-health/blues-programme/ .

Parents are also affected by their children’s mental health problems, so I was glad to hear about a new scheme being offered to parents, allowing for them to discuss the issues they are having and what actions may help them in the future with their child.

Parent Talk is Action for Children’s free online support service, providing extra support for parents, with guidance on everything from managing behaviour through to emotional wellbeing and co-parenting, as well as the option to live chat with parenting coaches and tools to help parents take care of themselves. This support service can be found here: https://parents.actionforchildren.org.uk/chat/?src=hp_wide_widget .

I want every child and young person in the Norwich North to have a safe and happy childhood and the foundations they need to thrive. That’s why it is important that I carry on seeking the needed improvements to the children’s mental health system in Norfolk, making sure children are referred faster and treated with urgency.

If I can help constituents with any matter, please do email me on chloe@chloesmith.org.uk.

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