Place2Be

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.
Schools can make a huge difference to young people's lives, and could be crucial to ensuring good mental health and wellbeing. They just need the help to do so.
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.
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.
The Duchess of Cambridge took part in a sing-a-long on a visit to an Edinburgh school on Wednesday as she continued to spread
hen we work with primary schools across England, Scotland and Wales, children quickly pick up the importance of being aware of their own emotions. This 'emotional intelligence' equips them with the ability to understand, manage and articulate strong feelings, as well as knowing how to cope when things do not go their way.
Over the past couple of years, we have seen progress and more recognition for children's mental health, along with the vital role that schools play in early intervention.
As a parent of a young child myself, I have to remind myself not to panic. If my conversations over the past 18 years with Place2Be's team of counsellors and therapists have taught me one thing, it's that it's never too early or too late to start thinking about your child's mental health.
We need a new policy from government level down if we are to catch these vulnerable children before they fall. As shocking as these figures are, we haven't got time to re-educate parents into being more honest with themselves.