Good psychological services for children and young people

Over the summer it seems that not a day has gone by without a story about children and mental health being in the news.

This week has seen widespread coverage of the Children’s Society Good Childhood Report. This found that English children rank 14th for life satisfaction out of 15 countries surveyed. Bullying and appearance are a concern for them to a degree unknown in many other societies.

And only today I saw a story suggesting school nurses need more mental health training.

The picture can be confusing. Young Minds said £35m has been cut from child mental health services across the UK in the last year, yet the Cabinet Office had encouraging news on traditional concerns about young people, such as alcohol, drugs and pregnancy.

So maybe we need to ask a more fundamental question: What does a good mental health service for young people look like? And this is just the question that will be addressed in the next issue of Child & Family Clinical Psychology Review, which will be published this autumn.

As to the need for more training, this is just the reason the Society helps fund MindEd. This website offers mental health education to adults who work with children as professionals or volunteers. It is well worth exploring.

The Society is working hard to ensure that psychologists are part of the debate on improving mental health services for children and part of the solution.