Our campaign for a paid counsellor to be available in every secondary school, academy and FE college in England has been backed by the Liberal Democrats.
The Lib Dems have written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak setting out their “wholehearted” support for our campaign to help deal with the “profound impact” of Covid-19 on young people.
Munira Wilson, Liberal Democrat health spokesperson, said: “The pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of children and young people.
Stress and anxiety
“Stress and anxiety are on the rise and too many are suffering in silence, when we know early intervention is key.
“Providing access to counselling in schools would be a lifeline to many young people, allowing them to get the support they need before they reach crisis point.
“This early intervention will prevent mental health issues from worsening and hopefully reduce the numbers who need more extensive support further down the line.
“The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to invest in the future by prioritising access to counselling for children and young people who are already dealing with so much.”
Daisy Cooper, Liberal Democrat education spokesperson, added: “Children have suffered a huge amount of disruption this year and with so much continuing uncertainty it's no surprise that a number of young people are experiencing mental ill health, often for the first time.
“Schools are best placed to provide rapid access to mental health support, but they simply don’t have the resources to do so. Young people are suffering needlessly as a result.
“The Conservatives must put that right, and get behind our plans to ensure every secondary school and college in England can provide access to counselling for their pupils through this difficult period and beyond.”
Thanks to our members
Jo Holmes, our Children, Young People and Families Lead, said: “We’re delighted to receive this endorsement from the Liberal Democrats for our campaign for funded counselling provision across secondary schools and colleges in England.
“Our members have been at the heart of the campaign and their hard work in writing and speaking to their MPs has put this firmly on the political agenda, and is building firm cross-party support."
It is the latest show of support for our campaign in Parliament.
Jon Trickett, the Labour MP for Hemsworth, has tabled an Early Day Motion calling on the government to “allocate resources in the in the Comprehensive Spending Review that are aimed at tackling the growing crisis of mental health among young people through a national commitment to counselling provision for all children in England’s secondary schools”.
And a Parliamentary Question was asked by Nicke Aiken, Conservative MP for Cities of London and Westminster, to Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary “if he will (a) provide access to counselling for all children in secondary schools and (b) extend access to counselling in further education colleges?”.