This week, Munira introduced a Bill in Parliament that, if passed, would help improve the support available for children and young people’s mental health.
Munira has been hearing from local residents whose children have been waiting for over a year to access services. Yet, it’s not clear how long children and young people are waiting to access mental health services on a national level because this information isn’t published. It’s also not clear how much funding is reaching the frontline.
Munira’s Bill would require the Government to report to Parliament annually on spending and waiting times for children and young people’s mental health support services in every local area. This would shed light on how far services are meeting children’s needs in order to understand where improvements are needed.
Following the introduction of her Bill, Munira said:
“I know that from speaking to local children and their parents, too many young people have been waiting far too long to access the mental health support that they need. There are some cases where children have been having waiting well over a year, which can have a further negative impact on their mental health. This is simply not good enough and urgent action is needed to tackle this issue.
The trouble is, because the Government doesn’t publish information on waiting times or spending on services in every local area, we have no idea how bad this problem is. The only way we can ensure that children are not being let down is by knowing exactly what resources local services in every area are getting and where exactly services are underperforming.
That’s why I introduced this Bill today. No child and young person should be left without the support they need, and I will do all I can to ensure the Government puts young people at the top of their priority list, particularly in the nation’s recovery from the pandemic.”