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Mental health in schools discussed at Westminster

24 April 2019

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Psychology met at Westminster yesterday for the first time this year, with a panel of experts discussing the mental health support which is offered to young people in schools.

The mental health of young people was voted as our main policy priority for 2019 by member representatives through the BPS Senate process, and this event took the voice of psychology to within the walls of the Houses of Parliament.

The meeting was chaired by Dr Lisa Cameron MP of the Scottish National Party, the chair of the APPG who was a clinical psychologist before entering Parliament.

She was joined by Dr Nihara Krause, the founder of a teenage mental health charity which runs wellbeing programmes in several schools. Nihara offered a clinical perspective, and argued the importance of early intervention and parity of esteem being incorporated into policy making as early as possible.

Tom Milson, a headteacher at a school for learners with significant social, emotional and mental health difficulties, offered a school’s perspective on the challenges faced. Drawing on his personal experience, Tom highlighted the importance of involving pupils and their families in the process from the start.

Dr Gavin Morgan, chair of our Division of Educational and Child Psychology, closed the discussion by considering the wider economic and political context, and re-emphasised the importance of educational psychologists being able to offer appropriate support.

The APPG was formed to bring together parliamentarians with an interest in psychology, and is chaired by the BPS. Previous meetings have focused on mental health in the criminal justice system, internet trolling, and psychologically healthy workplaces.

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