Parents, children and schools need our help
Children’s mental health has been one of Munira’s biggest priorities since becoming MP.
It’s an issue that required urgent attention even before the pandemic – but the problem has only worsened over the last few years. Referrals to children and young people’s mental health services are on the rise, with a BBC analysis from February 2022 finding a 77% rise in the number of children needing specialist treatment for severe mental health crisis.
The need for support is growing, but Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and other services are overstretched. Meanwhile, schools and parents are left struggling to cope.
In the community
In 2022, Munira surveyed headteachers from Twickenham’s secondary schools to gain a better understanding of the pressures on local schools, and identify where additional counselling and support services are needed.
Munira spoke to Riverside Radio about the scale of the challenge in our area.
On 16 October, Munira ran the Cabbage Patch 10 in support of two fantastic local children and young people’s mental health charities, Off the Record Twickenham and the Purple Elephant Project.
Thanks to the support and generosity of local people, Munira raised over £1,200, which will be split between the two organisations.
Munira demands action in Parliament
Munira has asked almost 50 Parliamentary Questions on mental health provision since becoming an MP, over half of which are focused on children and young people’s mental health.
On 23 March 2022, Munira presented her first Private Members’ Bill in Parliament, which would have shown how much is being spent on children’s mental health by area, after figures revealed a shocking postcode lottery across the country. Unfortunately, Conservative MPs “talked out” the Bill, meaning it couldn’t make further progress – but Munira won’t let this stop her campaign to improve children’s mental health services.
These are just a few of Munira’s interventions in Parliament on children’s mental health:
- 6 December 2022: Munira highlighted shortages in the CAMHS workforce and called on Government to train more mental health professionals.
- 22 September 2022: Munira urged the new Health Secretary to make children’s mental health a priority.
- 16 May 2022: Munira called for an urgent action plan.
- 8 February 2022: Munira shared some of the heart-breaking stories she’s heard from constituents.
- June 2021: Munira introduced a Bill to improve support for children’s mental health.
- March 2021: Munira pushed the Health Minister on waiting times.
- In 2020, Munira tabled an amendment to the NHS Funding Bill that would have required the Government to report to Parliament how much it was spending on CAMHS annually.