We’re joining more than 140 organisations in a call to all political parties to put children and young people at the heart of this General Election.

We've signed an open letter which calls on all political leaders to set out their solutions to the pressing issues facing children and young people, including mental health, child poverty, mental health, domestic abuse and serious youth violence.

You can show your support on social media using the hashtag #ChildrenAtTheHeart

Jo Holmes, our Children, Young Person and Families Lead, said: “Putting children and young people at the heart of this election campaign is a welcome move.

“It’s great to see organisations joining forces to highlight the needs of our 14 million children, in particular, vulnerable children who may be struggling with mental health conditions, living in poverty, at risk of online harms, exploitation, violence or school exclusion.

“Children are our future, early intervention work is key to having the best start in life, including a range of talking therapies alongside other vital support services, when things go wrong.”

We've put children and young people at the heart of our mental health policy priorities that we have submitted for inclusion in party manifestos.

Our asks include the development of a national school-based counselling strategy, demonstrating a commitment to children’s mental wellbeing, on a par with the rest of the UK, delivering on the expectation set out in ‘Counselling for Schools: a blueprint for the future’ (DH, 2015) for a trained, paid counsellor in every secondary school.

This should include access in Further Education institutions. Evidence suggests that this commitment to an early counselling intervention should be extended to young children in primary schools.

Jo said: "School-based counselling is a cost-effective and proven early intervention which improves children and young people’s mental health and emotional well-being.

"Children and school staff respond positively to counselling, and school leaders report improvements in attainment, attendance and behaviour of young people who have accessed services."

Find out more about our campaign to ensure that the voice of counselling and psychotherapy is heard loud and clear this General Election.