Welcome for Welsh mental health strategy

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has strongly welcomed the Welsh government's Together for Mental Health strategy. Dr Alistair Thomson, Vice President for Education at the body and Chair of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health e-portal Group, said the organisation supports the initiative because one-in-ten Welsh children aged between five and 16 are diagnosed with a mental health condition.

A consortium of experts - including the British Psychological Society, which recently said it is pleased to back the scheme - has been created to implement a nationwide education and advice programme, aiming to improve knowledge and attitudes regarding mental health issues among children and adolescents.

Dr Thomson explained awareness needs to be raised among teachers, employers, social workers and families about identifying people who may have an illness of this type, as this is an important step towards tackling stigma around the issue.

"It's only by educating people of the signs and symptoms that those in need of help can be supported and put on the correct treatment path at the earliest opportunity," he added.