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Children and Young People

Children and Young People

Children and young people need health, education, equality and protection in order to thrive. They require the support of adults to help them articulate their needs and protect their rights. All public services need to work together across the whole population of children and families in order to address the factors associated with low levels of mental health and wellbeing.

Why the mental health of children and young people is important

  • If issues are not identified and addressed in childhood, they set the course for prolonged mental health problems and poorer outcomes across the adult phase of a person’s life
  • Poor mental health results in increased risk of suicide, lower educational and employment outcomes and increased risk of substance misuse.
  • Our young carers take on the practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult

My recommendations

  • Parenting programmes must continue for the parents of school age children, focusing on times of transition in their child’s life, such as entry into primary one. We will ensure our approaches to parenting reach those families who could benefit most.
  • We must work together to bring about the kind of whole of school work on health and wellbeing, which is envisaged by policy documents and set out in the Curriculum for Excellence. The recession is associated with a reduction in wellbeing and a rise in mental health needs across the population. We will work with education colleagues to develop whole of school approaches, which improve young people’s resilience and skills to face this new reality.
  • We will ensure that the review of school nursing considers how best to work with partners to identify and support the health needs of young carers
  • We must build on our recent multi-agency planning work to create a strengthened range of preventative and early intervention services and supports the mental health, resilience and wellbeing of children and young people and better respond to distress, self harm and risk of suicide.
  • We need to strengthen the links between specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and wider support resources to ensure children are supported at the earliest opportunity and receive appropriate levels of support
  • We must build the confidence and skills of key frontline workers across services to support and intervene on mental health related issues, including delivery of focused learning inputs, such as suicide prevention skills.
  • We must also communicate with children, young people, their parents and carers on mental health themes using approaches such as social media and involving young people as partners, to ensure a well-informed population, to challenge stigma and discrimination and to lower the barriers to seeking help and support

Our vision for a mentally healthy Glasgow and Clyde

Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council,

"Our schools, through the new Curriculum for Excellence, will strive to promote a culture of success and achievement. Through good pastoral care and through work with partner agencies, our Education Services will contribute to improved mental health and wellbeing for children. "

Robert Naylor, Director of Education, Renfrewshire Council

 “My vision for a mentally flourishing Greater Glasgow and Clyde is one in which both parents and children are nurtured and supported. Our education system is relatively successful in supporting children and young people in difficult circumstances but we need to be more successful in including the parents in this process. The benefits of investment in early intervention for young children are now recognised but the parents need to be included for maximum effect to be achieved. Examples of investing in parents are providing support for their literacy and numeracy, assistance in transforming unhealthy lifestyles and support in gaining employment. These investments will also promote high aspirations and expectations in their children. Although some of these changes have been occurring in piecemeal fashion, they need to be integrated to a greater extent in holistic and family-based programmes directed to families at greatest need.”

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