Mental Health Education in Schools — [Mr Graham Brady in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:30 pm on 6th November 2017.

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Photo of Catherine McKinnell Catherine McKinnell Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne North 4:30 pm, 6th November 2017

Absolutely. The hon. Lady is right that the Select Committees on Health and on Education undertook a joint inquiry and report into these very issues because, crucially, health and education are intertwined when we look at mental health and physical wellbeing. The outcome of that inquiry was that I was very keen to lead in this debate, because I share her view that it is crucial to improve outcomes for children in care as well as for all our children and young people.

The statistics are startling. HeaducationUK highlights some of them: 850,000 UK children and young people aged five to 16 have mental health problems, which equates to around three in every classroom; more than 75% of mental illnesses in adult life begin before the age of 18; the number of young people attending accident and emergency with a psychiatric condition has risen by 106% since 2009; reports of self-harming among girls aged 13 to 16 rose by 68% between 2011 and 2014; and suicide is the biggest killer of young people aged under 35, with an average of 126 suicides a week and more than 200 children of school age dying by suicide each year.