26 April 2018
Evidence from the British Psychological Society is widely quoted in a new report from the Children, Young People and Education Committee of the National Assembly for Wales.
The report, Mind over matter: A report on the step change needed in emotional and mental health support for children and young people in Wales, says tackling the emotional and mental health issues among children and young people must be a stated national priority for the Welsh government.
Among the points it takes from the Society’s evidence are the importance of psychological wellbeing to academic achievement, the danger that school counselling will become the default option for distressed children and the immense amount that educational psychologists have to offer:
The British Psychological Society highlighted that EPs are often well placed to work with pupils in schools on their emotional and mental health. However, they noted that they are regularly “tied up” undertaking statutory assessments in respect of Special Educational Needs (SEN) / Additional Learning Needs (ALN), leaving little time to look at mental health in an educational setting.
The Society submitted written evidence to the committee and oral evidence was given on our behalf by Dr Bethan Phillips, Dr Rose Stewart and Dr Abigail Wright.
Overall, the report identifies an urgent need to invest in preventative and early intervention services. It argues that the distress suffered by many children and young people could be reduced or even avoided by enabling them to draw on the right support at the right time, in schools and in primary care across Wales.