The Daily Telegraph

Child mental health


SIR – One in six children in England now has a probable mental health condition. With the impact of the Covid years leading to additional pressures around schooling and exams, along with a cost of living crisis, the country’s next generation is living through some tough times. It is more evident than ever before that we need to prioritise the mental health of our children and young people.

We know that 78 per cent of the children seen by Place2be’s in-school counsellor­s last year felt socially anxious, and NHS leaders are reporting the highest numbers on record of children and young people needing help for their mental health. However, with the right support, we can create resilient young people who are able to cope with life’s challenges.

We urge decision-makers to be ambitious and devise a long-term plan for the wellbeing of all our children and young people. Focusing on earlier interventi­on will help to relieve pressure on our NHS and contribute positively to the economy.

Support for well-being is not optional. It should be at the heart of the education system – and expert mental health support should be embedded in every school. We also need increased help for teachers, school staff and families to create environmen­ts at home and school that foster good mental health for everyone.

Catherine Roche

CEO, Place2be

Dr Adrian James

President, Royal College of Psychiatri­sts

Brian Dow

Deputy Chief Executive, Rethink Mental Illness and 14 others; see

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