Children's Mental Health

Young people at greater risk of emotional and mental health problems as parts of Children, Schools and Families Bill abandoned

Young Minds, the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional well being and mental health of children and young people, have expressed their frustration over the lack of commitment to young people’s wellbeing in the wake of yesterday’s decision to scrap parts of the Children, Schools and Families Bill, including plans to make Personal Social Health and Economic Education (PSHE) compulsory in schools.

They explain that…

“PSHE education equips young people with the skills to deal with drugs and alcohol, emotional health and well-being, and sex and relationships, and is an essential part of any young person’s education.  Without it young people will be at more risk of emotional and mental health problems, which already affect three young people in every classroom”.

Lucie Russell, YoungMinds Director of Campaigns said:  “Providing children and young people with the space to learn about and discuss these areas is an absolutely vital part of growing up in 21st century Britain and losing this statutory duty lets down a generation of children and young people. How do we expect them to grapple with these issues if they do not possess the knowledge and the skills to deal with them?

“We are failing young people in dropping statutory PHSE and need to take responsibility for the resulting effects.” Young Minds goes on to quote Baroness Walmsley speaking in the House of Lords debate last night:

“I have never felt such distress, anger and frustration as I felt this morning when I discovered what was going to happen in respect of the Bill…. The Government and the official Opposition have conspired behind closed doors to drop all the provisions that would have given children the high quality PSHE for which they have long asked, which they deserve and to which they have a right under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is the most truly shocking betrayal of my political life”.

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