Launch of Children’s Mental Health Coalition

15th December, 2009

I get lots of invites to press conferences, briefings, open days and lobbying events. I don’t go to the vast majority of them on the simple grounds that if I did I would get nothing else done. I made an exception to this today and I’m glad that I did. More information about this group is available at their site

They have spelt out a number of specific priorities to be delivered in the next 2 years. These range from changes to mental health services to use of the National Educational Psychological Service.

I pledged to support their campaign this morning. I don’t have any policy responsibility in this area but feel so strongly about it because of the sheer prominence of this problem in my constituency work. My work involves so many families and kids who are really struggling and we must do more to help them. They are in their own world of despair and I sometimes feel like joining them. Except I can’t and won’t.

I made a number of suggestions this morning. Firstly, cost their priorities. I am sure that they will be a small amount of money in the overall scheme of things. Secondly, use their website for advocacy purposes. Finally, meet up with concerned politicians regularly across the next 2 years.