We have opened our doors at the Tavistock and Portman because we wanted to create a platform for the authentic voices of young people and families using services and the clinicians who work with them. There is a growing public demand for children and young people's mental health to be awarded the priority and the investment in needs. Government has made important commitments, but for kids on the edge turning sympathy into action cannot come too quickly.
It is a stark and tragic fact that the biggest cause of death among young men in the UK is now suicide. And in the majority of cases, people who lose their life through suicide have not been in contact with mental health services prior to their death.
It is a great honour to be with you here this evening for these very special Place2Be Awards. Tonight, we are celebrating the truly remarkable work taking place across Place2Be schools in support of children's mental health. Without many of the inspiring people gathered here this evening, countless children would not receive the transformational support in their schools. It is because of so many of you, that in their time of need, children have the help, care and attention that will get them through tough times in their lives.
Every 20 minutes a youngster in this country attempts to take their own life, according to the Samaritans. What will it take for children's mental health to be taken as seriously as their physical health? Physical health education or P.E. is a compulsory part of our school curriculum. Isn't it about time mental health education became a compulsory part of it too?
To report on the crisis in children's mental health, as I have done repeatedly on ITV News, is one thing. To have it crash headlong into my family with devastating consequences was something else altogether. For two or three years we were in despair as someone we love descended alarmingly quickly into the bleak, unremittingly dark world of depression and anxiety.
I have worked closely with Place2Be - a major charity that provides counselling in schools - and I have been inspired and moved by individual stories charting the transformational change and meaningful support that counselling can offer to children. I have understood more clearly what kinds of skills and interventions are helpful and appropriate.
We know that the need is great. During their first eleven years, one in five children will experience a mental health difficulty. Children who are distracted and unable to deal with their worries will not be able to engage with their learning and reach their full potential... My hope for the future is that all schools will have the resources to provide excellent mental health support for all their pupils, that all teachers will be empowered by training to understand and support children's mental health, and that every child will have the opportunity to grow up with prospects not problems.
Children who live with mental health and identity issues are often overlooked by the system and with the stringent cuts of recent years and increased numbers of referrals, they've never needed to be heard more than they do today.
One in 10 children aged between five and 16 have a mental health problem. That's the equivalent of three in every classroom. Yet children's mental health has always been known as the 'Cinderella of the NHS', receiving just 0.7% of the total NHS budget, or about 6% of overall spending on mental health.
A. You don't. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AHDH) is nothing more than a professional opinion, it is not a fact. Even in the "Diagnostic...
We know already that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and that mental distress costs the economy in England over £105 billion each year. I profoundly hope that all the recent reports and publicity translate into actions that really make a difference.
Research has emerged that suggests bullying could be more detrimental to a child's mental health than physical abuse. A US study of 1,420 children found that those who had been bullied, but not maltreated, were almost four times more likely to have mental health problems than children who were maltreated... So why do we continue to diminish the effect bullying has on children's mental health?
Moving to a new school, or up a year at an existing school - with new friends, teachers, subjects, rules and expectation - is a big deal for young people. All of us who are adults remember how daunting it was, but we sometimes take it for granted that children will be able to cope with the change. The truth is, for many young people, the changing schools or starting a new academic year is really difficult to deal with...
If we're serious about improving the mental health of young people, we need a sea change in our approach to monitoring the issue. A prevalence survey once every 14 years simply isn't good enough. It's time to recognise children's mental health as a national asset, and do everything we can to understand, strengthen and protect it.
We have to make sure that all children know that they won't be abandoned to deal with the stresses and strains of life. Wen you know someone is listening, things can and do get better. The first conversation might be the hardest, but plucking up the courage to speak to someone is the first step.
How can you tell if this is a normal part of growing up through the primary years, usual adolescent development, or an emerging mental health problem? Well at this stage, you can't, but what you can do is take the changes seriously, because if it is the start of a mental health difficulty, then the sooner your child gets help the better.