Mental health

We want our Parliament to: Recognise that our minds matter and improve the access to and quality of our mental health services.
Our Vision: We believe that the Government needs to do more to address mental health challenges faced by young people. We believe that the stigma surrounding mental health prevents many young people from seeking support, and that help and advice is often scarce. Greater investment needs to be made to ensure that support and care is; age-appropriate, youth-friendly and accessible both locally and nationally for 16-25 year olds. We also believe that the Government must ensure measures are developed to raise the availability and quality of youth mental health provisions across the UK. This will help tackle the postcode lottery of provision.

Key Facts:

● One in eight 5 to 19-year olds experience at least one clinically diagnosable mental health problem (Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, NHS Digital, 2017)
● Half of all lifetime cases of psychiatric disorders start by age 14 and three quarters by age 24 (Key Data on Adolescence 2013, Association from Young People’s Health, 2013)
● There continues to be a post-code lottery of early help provision. For example, analysis by the Children’s Commissioner for England has found that local areas allocated a total of £226 million for low-level mental health services in 2018/19, just over £14 per child. (Early access to mental health support, Children’s Commissioner, April 2019)

● Research shows that children and young people go an average of ten years between first showing signs of mental health problems and getting any help. Every day opportunities are being missed to help these children. (Missed Opportunities, Centre for Mental Health, June 2016)

End Poverty

We want our Parliament to: Ensure no child or young person lives in poverty in the UK.

Our Vision:
We believe that children and young people should not have to live in poverty in the UK – every young person should have a decent standard of living, irrespective of their economic status. We want the UK Government to give all children in families the same rate of child benefits; larger families are more likely to be in poverty and raising the child benefit level for the younger children in a large family is a simple and direct way of increasing vital support.

We believe that health care and nutrition are major factors for a young person living in poverty. All young people and students should be entitled to free health, dental care and prescriptions. There should be free school meals for all young people to ensure that every young person receives at least one balanced meal per day.

We believe that all young people should have the right to a safe place to live; young refugees and their families are often most vulnerable as tenants, we must ensure their basic rights are catered for.

Key stats:

● Almost 1 in 3 children in the UK live below the poverty line and 70% of these children living in poverty come from working families (Households below average income statistics, Department of Work and Pensions, 2019)
● Poverty can affect children’s cognitive development, and those living in poverty are over three times more likely to suffer from mental health problems. Poverty has long term implications on children’s ‘life chances’ and health in adulthood. (Health at a price reducing the impact of poverty A briefing from the Board of Science, British Medical Association, June 2017)
● Although Universal Credit has allowed more children and young people to be eligible, it’s calculation has also prevented 1 in 8 children and young people who were once eligible to become ineligible to receive free school meals. (Free School Meals Under Universal Credit, Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2018)

A Level Results Protest

Students have protested in London for a second day against the handling of this year’s A-level results, which saw thousands of marks downgraded after an algorithm was used to moderate grades due to exam cancellations. Protests also happened in other parts in the country. The Birmingham protest was cancelled after the government made a U-turn and agreed that predicted grades could be used. It was a good result for A-level students including many here in Birmingham.

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