Mind Over Matter: The Emotional and Mental Health of Young People in Wales
Support for the emotional and mental health of children and young people in Wales has been too limited for too long. We believ e that the time has come to put mind over matter and deliver appropriate, timely and effective emotional and mental health support for our children and young people, once an d for all. We recogn ise the improvement made in specialist children and adolescent mental health servic es (CAMHS) in the last two years.But it is not enough. It is estimated that three children in every average size classroom will have a mental health issue. By the age of 14, half of all mental health problems will have begun.
To stem the flow, we need a step change. We need to equip our children with the skills, confidence and too ls to be emotionally resilient. We need to intervene much earlier, addressing the seeds of distress before they tak e root. This will not be achieved through piecemeal change. Differences in the processes, structures, funding, cultures, knowledge and training of the various players – including health, education, local authorities, the thir d sector and the criminal justic e system – mean a joined-up approach is crucial if the vision of child-centred support is to be delivered. Building a resilient, emotionally and mentally healthy populat ion of children and young people has to b e a stated national priority. But words alone will not do – they need to be underpinned by the planning, resource an d commitment required to deliver real change.