Conservative Councillors in Milton Keynes are calling for an additional £200,000 investment to improve children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.
The announcement comes as Children’s Mental Health Week (7-13 February 2022) is underway to demonstrate the importance of children and young people’s mental health.
New data from the BBC suggests that there has been a 77% increase in the number of children needing specialist treatment for severe mental health crisis.
Over 400,000 under-18s were referred to the NHS in England for specialist care for issues such as suicidal thoughts and self-harm between April and October 2021.
Reports say that Head Teachers are also reporting a spike in mental health issues.
According to the British Medical Journal, one of the biggest challenges is that fewer children have been able to access support due to the disruption of services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Milton Keynes Conservatives are proposing a £200,000 amendment to MK Council’s budget that will provide that urgent and much needed support.
Among other additional support, Conservative Cllrs, want to see an increase in school-based mental health counsellors that would help manage growing demand and provide a quicker outlet for children and young people suffering from poor mental health.
Mental health support training for social care teams to focus on children and young people in vulnerable families is another proposal that the Conservatives want to see enacted.
Cllr Alice Jenkins, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group, said: “COVID-19 has taken a serious toll on children’s mental health and schools and social care teams are the first place many of them will seek help.
“As a city we need to raise our level of ambition to support children’s mental health.”