This Children’s Mental Health Week, Munira met with young ambassadors from Off the Record to discuss children and young people’s mental health.
Munira and the young representatives from the charity discussed ways in which the pandemic has impacted children’s mental health as well as how support can be improved through these challenging times.
Munira committed to raising these concerns in Parliament and pushing for more support for young people across the nation.
Following the discussion, Munira said:
I would like to thank Deborah and the team at Off the Record for the amazing work they do in our local community in supporting our young people’s mental health. These times are incredibly difficult for many, and it’s so important that young people locally have somewhere they can turn to for help.
Talking to young representatives of the charity really highlighted to me how challenging the current circumstances are for people at school or university in particular. For many, the uncertainty around how their future exams will be assessed and the lack of face-to-face contact has been tough. This has led to young people feeling anxious and stressed about their futures.
For far too many young people, there isn’t enough support available to improve their wellbeing or the waiting times to access support are too long. This needs to change urgently and I am determined to press Ministers for better support both locally and nationally. It’s vital young people can access support when they need it, particularly during these challenging times.”
Deborah Kerpner, Manager at Off the Record Twickenham, said:
“At Off The Record we’ve been shocked at how alone and isolated young people are feeling without the structure and support of school and friends. It’s vital for young people’s mental health that their distress is recognised and understood. In the midst of so much uncertainty, having their feelings validated by someone is essential to reduce their anxiety and help them cope with the challenges they face.
We are working hard to support them through zoom counselling and face-to-face where possible. Over 90% of those giving feedback have said that their lives improved considerably after seeing our counsellors.”