Youth mental health crisis must be a priority, says MP John Healey

ENGLAND is in the grips of a deadly crisis in youth mental health while the government continues to deny the problem, says Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey

New analysis has highlighted the severity of the crisis in youth mental health care under the Tories, with increasing numbers of people dying by suicide, detentions under the mental health act rising, and more young people struggling than ever before.

Mr Healey spoke out after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak suggested that many people suffering mental health problems were just experiencing “the everyday challenges and worries of life” and should not receive medical support.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Last year, Mr Healey’s Schools Mental Report revealed every school that responded reported an increase in the number of mental health cases they had to deal with and a rise in anxiety issues for both students and staff.

He said: “I’ve been calling for an increase in mental health support for young people for the past six years – when I carried out my first Schools Mental Health report.

“Since then, the situation has worsened with a record 780,000 children and young people across the country having been in contact with mental health services over the last year alone.

“It’s clear to see we are experiencing an unprecedented crisis in mental health care, with children and young people crying out for support.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Instead of attempting to cover up the scale of the problem, the next Labour government will give people the support they desperately need. We’ll roll-out 8,500 mental health staff to cut waits, put mental health hubs in every community and support in every school, to help people get back onto their feet.”

Last month the Children’s Commissioner said children were being treated like “second-class citizens” when it comes to mental health care, with reports that some attempted suicide several times before they were able to receive mental health treatment.

Mr Healey says Labour has made tackling the crisis in mental health a cornerstone of their mission to get the NHS back on its feet and will deliver 8,500 additional mental health staff, specialist mental health support in every school and an open access mental health hub in every community. This plan will be funded by scrapping tax loopholes for private schools and private equity fund managers.