Debate on body image and mental health, House of Commons, 23 July 2019

Councils are supporting children and young people with high quality mental health support. Children’s services see more than 500 cases a day of children presenting with a mental health problem.


Key messages

  • Improving and maintaining good mental health is a top priority for councils. Too often the pressure placed on people’s body image leads to serious mental health issues from a very young age. Intervening early can dramatically improve an individual’s life chances and save money in the longer term.
  • Councils are supporting children and young people with high quality mental health support. Children’s services see more than 500 cases a day of children presenting with a mental health problem.
  • It was pleasing that additional funding for NHS mental health services for children was announced in the 2018 Budget. Yet if this funding was granted to councils, the investment in preventative services could prevent young people needing NHS care in the first place.
  • As a result of funding reductions, many councils are now being forced to reduce vital early intervention work which helps children avoid reaching crisis point. The Government’s children’s services Early Intervention Grant has been reduced by almost £600 million since 2013, and is projected to decrease by almost £100 million more by 2020.
  • Children’s services are facing a funding gap of £3 billion by 2025, due to funding reductions and increases in demand. The Government must ensure all of the promised £1.7 billion for children’s mental health is spent on children’s mental health services, and not diverted elsewhere.
  • The LGA’s Bright Futures campaign highlights the important early intervention and prevention work that councils across the country are doing to support our children and young people.
  • Our #CouncilsCan campaign is calling for the empowerment of local government so that they can lead their communities.3 The new Prime Minister and Government must prioritise supporting good mental health through housing, education and family support, rather than intervening in times of crisis.

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Debate on body image and mental health, House of Commons, 23 July 2019