Passionate pleas for the Welsh Government to do more to improve schools based emotional and mental health support for children

Assembly Members from across the political spectrum express their concerns and anger at the Welsh Government’s dispassionate and dismissive reaction to a recent Assembly Committee report

The report, published by the Children, Young People and Education Committee found that support for the emotional and mental health of young people in Wales’ schools has been “too limited for too long”.

It is estimated that one-in-three children in every classroom will have a mental health issue.

The report made clear that support for children with mental health and wellbeing problems in Wales’ schools is wholly inadequate and that urgent action is needed to turn things around.

The committee publication called for urgent action to embed support for children in schools to build resilience and equip the education workforce to spot problems and help to tackle them.

The Welsh Government however has decided not to adopt many of the reports key recommendations.

In a debate on the Welsh Government’s response to the report that was held this afternoon in the Senedd, Shadow Secretary for Health, Angela Burns AM, said:

“If we do not help children at the beginning of their mental health problems – we will spend a lifetime picking up the pieces. A quarter of our population are in distress at some point or another.

“In the last 11 years 15 reports that have attempted to improve mental health support for young people in Wales have effectively been either neglected or ignored by successive Welsh Labour Governments.

“The Welsh Government’s response to this latest report was unengaged and in parts was downright resentful. The Welsh Government is out of step will all parties including that of Welsh Labour in relation to the report’s main recommendations.”

In addition, Children, Young People and Education Committee member, Darren Millar AM, said:

“The Welsh Government’s response to the committee report on child mental health is the most disappointing and complacent I have ever seen. Psychologists and organisations like the NSPCC have endorsed all twenty seven of the report's recommendations yet the Welsh Government has only fully accepted seven.

“Welsh Minister’s should stick their response where the sun don’t shine – in the shredder – and provide a response which will deliver the step change we need to see in our schools and NHS.”