I beg to move,
That this House
has considered children and mental health services.
It is a great pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Pritchard. We could not be in better hands. It is a delight to have the Minister here. I know she comes to this issue with great personal interest and a commitment to deliver for all our constituents. It is fantastic to see so many right hon. and hon. Members from across the House here to take part in the debate. That is testament to the interest in this place and the concern across the country about mental health, particularly that of children.
I praise the Government for what they have done to date. When it comes to mental health, there is no doubt that this Government get it, making it a priority like no other. They have tackled the stigma of mental health and put in much-needed resources, but although they have done great work, like Oliver, we would all say, “Please, Minister, can we have some more?” because although we are getting on board with the issues, and royals, TV stars, politicians, and people from sport and all spheres talking about mental health, the problem is snowballing, getting bigger and bigger. Such are the pressures and stresses placed on our children’s mental health that this is an ever-increasing problem, which demands our attention, resources and commitment as a Government.
One in eight five-to-19-year-olds—12.5%, or 1.25 million children across the country—have a mental health difficulty, according to the Government’s own survey of November 2018, “Mental Health of Children and Young People in England”. The Local Government Association says that children’s services are seeing more than 560 cases of mental health issues every day. Some 75% of adult mental health illnesses begin before the individual turns 18 and over 50% start before the age of 14. Some 23% of the population are affected by mental health difficulties at some point each year. The economic and social costs of mental illness in England total £105 billion.