LGA briefing: Children's mental health week - House of Commons, 6 February 2020

Good mental health is essential for a healthy and prosperous society. Unfortunately, it is easier to focus on what happens when a person becomes mentally ill, and how the health service intervenes, rather than how to keep our communities mentally well in the first place. Improving and maintaining good mental health for communities is a key priority for councils.


Key Messages

  • Improving and maintaining good mental health for communities is a key priority for councils. This is particularly important for children and young people.
  • Through their children, family and public health responsibilities, councils are giving children and young people high quality mental health support. They stand ready to do more and help to avoid children reaching crisis point but are currently having to cut vital early intervention work.  
  • This week, we have published commissioned research into the early intervention, prevention and support for children with multiple and complex needs that councils across the country are doing to support our children and young people. This demonstrates what can be achieved through good local partnership working, as well as putting the child and family at the heart of services.
  • We welcome the recent announcements for increased investment in NHS-led children’s mental health services. This includes, more money for crisis care and schools-based support teams. However, we can help more children and young people avoid being escalated into clinical services with life-long mental health disorders by refocusing on the good work councils do in supporting mentally healthy childhoods and in providing early and family-based support.
  • The Government should strengthen the governance over how funding on children’s mental health services is spent and recognise the expertise of health and wellbeing boards locally.
  • The LGA’s Bright Futures campaign sets out our key asks to help improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people, this includes prioritising prevention and early intervention and providing funding to councils to allow them work with schools to commission independent school based counselling in every secondary school.

Download the full briefing
LGA briefing: Children's mental health week - House of Commons, 6 February 2020