13 January 2022
BPS member Heather Connolly told the Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee that exhaustion is preventing her mental health colleagues from providing a holistic service for children.
The inquiry is investigating the health and wellbeing of young people, particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ms Connolly, a member of the BPS’ Division of Health Psychology, said that ‘the complete stress and burden and moral injury of our workforce will impact on the ability to deliver person-centred care.’
Other key areas that were highlighted included the devastating impact of child poverty, and how it limits the ability of families and children and young people to access the support and services they need.
Ms Connolly said:
“I’m pleased that we were able to share the psychological perspective with the committee. We know that the Covid-19 pandemic has hit children and young people particularly hard, and we must work to ensure their health and wellbeing is supported as we continue to navigate living during a global pandemic. The pandemic and associated lockdowns limited opportunities for children to socialise and make friends, and enjoy contact with their wider families.
“It is vital that we consider all the wider determinants that impact our children and young people’s health and wellbeing, including poverty, physical activity, diet and social connections. We know that to best support our children and young people’s health and wellbeing early intervention is key.
“But in order to make really impactful early-interventions, services and support must be psychologically informed. If we can pull on a lot of the information, knowledge and theories from behaviour and health psychology, we can improve how we deliver these services and more likely to see positive outcomes.”