Charity Hits Out Over Children’s Mental Health

A charity has called for urgent action to safeguard Welsh children’s mental health. Gofal Cymru raised concerns about the current poor provision of mental health services for children.

Ewan Hilton, the charity’s executive director, outlined his vision for the future in a speech to the Fostering Network’s Healthy Minds conference, in Cardiff.

His comments come after the Children’s Commission for Wales raised serious concerns about child and adolescent mental health services in its annual report, describing it as a service in crisis.

Mr Hilton said, “One in 10 children have a clinically recognisable mental disorder and many more will experience some form of emotional distress.

“When they become ill these children and their families often face agonising waits for treatment or, even worse, find themselves having to fight to receive any treatment at all.

“These children are our future. They are the next generation of teachers, fire-fighters, doctors, politicians and parents. Safeguarding their mental wellbeing should be of the highest importance to us all, and yet just last week a report from the Children’s Commissioner in Wales showed just how badly we were failing them.”

He added, “I’d like to see greater emphasis put on preventative work, working with teachers to promote mental wellbeing and teach emotional literacy from the moment children start school, and on supporting whole families when people become unwell.”