February comment from Cllr Howard Sykes, LGA Lib Dem Group Leader

It is Children's Mental Health Week 4 - 10 February 2019. So it is timely that a recent report from a committee of MPs has found that only a third of children and young people with mental health conditions receive the treatment they need from the NHS.

Its report found that many are turned away because they are not ill enough, others face long waits - and it could be years before that changes.

Last month Theresa May and NHS England bosses set out a vision for the health service which focused on preventing ill health, which is welcome, but sadly lacking in detail about funding. With one in eight youngsters in the five to 19-year-old age group having a mental health disorder and an increasing number of five to 15-year-olds suffering from an emotional disorder, currently 5.8%, mental health issues are affecting the life chances of young people.

If not tackled this will be a massive legacy, and like many things, will bite us on the bum big time. The question you need to ask yourself is what have YOU tried to do to improve the mental health of the citizens you represent and especially those young people? As my good friend and colleague Norman Lamb MP said “We cannot let mental health slide down the agenda because of Brexit”. So the message is simple do not let that happen!