At Westminster, Alex Cunningham joined young people and mental health experts from leading charity, Action for Children, to support the parliamentary launch of Build Sound Minds – a campaign to help children and teenagers build good mental and emotional wellbeing.
A third of 15 to 18-year-olds assessed by Action for Children were found to be suffering from mental health issues. Pupils in need of support have been taking part in the Blues Programme, the first ever UK-wide early help intervention for teenage depression.
Ahead of Children’s Mental Health Week (4-10 February), the Stockton North MP has pledged support for the charity’s campaign, which aims to improve children and teenagers’ mental health by providing families with accessible information, tools and tips.
Alex Cunningham MP said:
“The most recent official figures show one in nine children between 5-15 experiencing a mental health disorder. This simply can’t go on.
“Acting early can help stop problems in their tracks and it’s vital we do everything we can, not only to help these young people, but to prevent these problems coming about in the first place.
“That’s why I’m pleased to be supporting Action for Children’s work through Build Sound Minds, and I encourage young people of all ages across Stockton North to look out for their own wellbeing and to seek support early if they’re struggling.”
Julie Bentley, chief executive of Action for Children, said:
“Just like our physical health, our emotional wellbeing needs care and attention. And the first step in doing this is to create a positive conversation about mental health.
“Every day we support children and teenagers who are struggling for a number of reasons. Some are concerned about their futures, many are dealing with the intense pressure of school work and others are experiencing problems at home, all while navigating a complex 24/7 world with constant stimulation from social media.
“It’s no wonder that things can sometimes become too much for young people to handle. But with the backing of MPs like Alex, Action for Children can support young people to deal with their feelings from an earlier age, help prevent problems from starting and allow them to bounce back quickly if they do.”
For more information, visit www.buildsoundminds.org.uk