Ministers, and all of us, need to address the crisis in children’s mental health, after a recent Children’s Society report revealed that around one in four 14-year-old girls self-harms – a figure I find horrifying, especially as a father of two girls.
‘The good childhood report 2018’, which examines the state of children’s wellbeing in the UK, found that, out of the 11,000 children surveyed, one in six reported self-harming at 14.
One told the charity: “I felt like self-harming was what I wanted to do and had to do, as there was nothing else I could do. I think there is help for young people, but not the right kind of help.
“Feeling not pretty enough or good enough as other girls did contribute towards my self-harming; however, I don’t feel just being a girl is the reason, as I think boys feel the same way too.”
Councils work hard to ensure children and young people can access the support they need. However, with children’s services facing a £3 billion funding gap by 2025, many of our councils are being forced to cut early intervention work – including youth services – which helps children avoid reaching crisis point.
Government should release the £1.7 billion promised for child and adolescent mental health services as a matter of urgency. It is scandal every day it does not!