Last week I had a really good chat with several other charity CEOs as we met with their Royal Highnesses, the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry at the launch of the Heads Together campaign at the Queen Elizabeth Park in London.
After a year of therapy, during which we saw little change in our son's behaviour, we signed him up for a football course run by the practice. Although Jacob was happy to join the other children, he never lasted more than 20 minutes before storming off in angry tears.
How can we accept a society that does not provide the support needed when traumatised children have been brave enough to come forward - as we encourage them to do. Surely it is our moral duty to offer a safety net of support and recovery services at the other side.
I'm staring at the screen, wishing the words would come easier. They're there, wrapped up in some part of my head that feels a little unaccessible at ...
Ahead of the Holyrood elections, taking place next month, we met with each of the main Scottish party leaders and were encouraged that there is widespread, cross-party agreement that more needs to be done in this area. Given the urgency of this issue, we need and expect a concrete commitment from the Scottish government following the election next month.
The therapists working with our children and young adults do a fantastic job, often in difficult conditions. They are known as the Cinderella Service in the UK NHS because of the low budget they receive. Sharing the therapist expertise and giving them the tools to reach more of those in need will undoubtedly help to intervene earlier.
So many people think depression has a 'look', but it really doesn't. Yes, there are some signs that someone might be depressed, and a person crying or looking 'down' may well have depression. But not everybody who is crying is depressed, and people who are depressed rarely cry 24/7.
The Coalition Government made good strides in addressing this issue. In March 2015, Nick Clegg announced £1.25billion over the next five years to transform services. This year David Cameron became the first Prime Minister to make a major speech on mental health. Nevertheless it is important that this new money reaches the services that need it...
Three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health issue, and the number of referrals into specialist mental health services is increasing. Without investment in both early intervention and crisis care, the situation can only deteriorate over time.
The government says that children's and young people's mental health is now a priority for them and I don't doubt their sincerity. However, there is a lack of joined up thinking whereby they are reluctant to specifically outline what local authorities should do, effectively creating hundreds of nets with many holes for mental health as a priority to fall through
Looking back, it strikes me as a little odd that we could openly discuss things like fertility and other physical issues which seemingly had priority. And yet we never really touched on another significant topic - mental health issues, and the impact they can have on people with physical disabilities.
While our campaign has been to get Matthew into an autism-specific in-patient unit, we have realized that a bigger issue is a total breakdown of the provision of appropriate care in the community for our most vulnerable young people. The solution is not in fact more units, but rather providing proper social care at a local level.
The increased focus on children and young people's mental health can only be a good thing. But alongside setting out the scale of the problems facing children and young people we also need to identify workable answers.
When childhood trauma goes undetected or untreated, that child may grow up reenacting that trauma over and over again in order to master it. A lot of what we deal with in our day-to-day jobs, is working with young people who are being violent in order to regain some kind of control over their lives and emotions, most doing so unconsciously.
Some days I look in the mirror and hear, 'urgh, not today'. My hair isn't right, my face looks dull and carries the marks of yesterday's mask, the one I have worn to face the day. Other days I take a peek and say, 'yeah, bring it on!', and for sure the day goes better. I might look the same, but I'm more self-accepting, less critical.
I met Rosie Linder a fortnight ago. Like me, she is a middle aged mother with two children. Like me she wants to connect with her children. "I wanted a fun way to talk about emotions with my daughters. If you just ask them, they are very resistant. They feel they are being put on the spot."