As schools across the country mark Children’s Mental Health Week, Munira reiterated her call to place a dedicated mental health practitioner in every school, following a bill she presented in Parliament last month.
With pressures including social media and the legacy of the pandemic, one in five children struggle with their mental health. Yet, statistics show that a fifth of young people wait more than six months to access mental health services. Although the Government has been rolling out mental health support teams in schools, coverage is patchy. Research from the Liberal Democrats estimates that, by the end of 2024, over half of schools in England will have no access to mental health support teams at all. Many of the schools in the programme typically have half to one day per week of support from a team member.
“We are facing a tidal wave of mental ill health among our children and young people. It is a crisis that is jeopardising too many children’s wellbeing, education, future prospects and long-term health,” Munira said.
On 9 January, Munira presented her Ten Minute Rule Bill in Parliament to place a mental health practitioner in every primary and secondary state school – giving every pupil access to care and support from the moment they start needing it. Children’s mental health has been one of Munira’s biggest priorities since becoming an MP.
“Nothing could be more important than our children’s health and wellbeing, and this bill would be a crucial investment in their future,” said Munira.
On 29 January in Parliament, Munira urged the Education Minister to back her bill to put a qualified mental health practitioner in every primary and secondary school in England.
When Munira presented her bill in Parliament on 9 January, she told Ministers that the Government must do everything in their power to ensure that every child arrives at school happy, healthy, and ready to learn and thrive.
Munira pointed out that mental ill health is one of the most significant causes of school absence, which negatively impacts a child’s education and future.
Unfortunately, this Conservative Government has too often viewed children and young people as a financial burden and a drain on resources. Munira told Ministers that this is “just wrong”, and called for greater spending on services to support our children.
Munira spoke about her visit to Carshalton Boys’ Sports College last year, where she spoke with pupils and mental health staff about the value of mental health services in schools.
Presenting her bill, Munira said that a mental health practitioner in every school would make support accessible to ALL pupils, giving them the tools they need to be resilient and thrive into adulthood.