The Government has just published a Green paper on children and young people’s mental health. Green Papers are consultation documents produced by the Government. Their aim is to allow people to give feedback on Government policy. In this case, members of the public can have their say until 2nd March 2018.
It contains some helpful recommendations which will raise awareness of children’s mental health issues within schools. However, there are some disappointing aspects. For example, the four-week waiting target to access mental health provision is to be welcomed but it is limited to pilot areas.
Crucially, the paper does not include universal access to counselling services within every school. This is despite the fact that it is one of the Government’s own recommendations in its advice paper “Counselling in schools: a blueprint for the future“. Wales and Northern Ireland currently provide this within their own frameworks.
Only 61% of schools and colleges provide essential counselling support. For more information, take a look at the BACP’s critique and response to the green paper.