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Mental health of children and young people voted our top policy priority

15 October 2018

Chairs of our member networks voted at the Senate for mental health and psychological well-being of children and young people to be our top policy priority for the coming year.

The proposal was put forward jointly by the Chairs of the Division of Educational and Child Psychology, the Division of Clinical Psychology and the Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology.

The focus is on the need for a national strategy that ensures a cohesive and coordinated approach to increase access to psychological support and interventions for vulnerable groups of children and young people.

A key focus will be around how we can ensure that the examinations and assessment system is not detrimental to children’s mental health and well-being.

The Policy team will be taking the campaign forward and developing the idea of a ‘kitemark’ for psychologically healthy educational institutions and will be setting up a Policy Development Group to help drive the work forward.

The children and young people proposal was one of three presented at the inaugural meeting of the BPS Senate, where representatives from our branches, sections, divisions, and special groups, alongside our trustees, debated priorities across a series of presentations and workshop sessions.

The Senate also heard proposals on how psychology can contribute to current developments around future technologies and around ending detention of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and supporting their right to work. These two proposals were matched evenly in terms of votes, showing that both were issues that our members felt were important.

The Senate is a new function created by the BPS to give our members a democratic way of selecting our organisational priorities, with each member network in attendance given a vote.

Sarb Bajwa, Chief Executive of the BPS, commented that:

“The Senate has allowed us to get a real sense of what matters to our members and means we have a clear focus and purpose that will help us to achieve much greater impact through collaboration.”

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