Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition
Mental health is a subject that is hugely difficult to talk about because of the stigma that surrounds it, yet it blights millions of lives and is a problem that undermines the welfare of our society.
You may be forgiven for thinking this is just an adult’s problem, but it’s absolutely not. There's a great deal of evidence to suggest that mental health issues can start from as early as in the womb. Over a million school age children, even as young as five years old, experience mental health problems, and half of all lifetime emotional and mental health problems are rooted in childhood.
This is why our Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition (CYPMHC) focuses on early intervention projects.
Only by addressing children and young people’s wellbeing issues early can we hope to bring about better outcomes for individuals and society.
Do you know?
One in ten - or about 850,000 five to sixteen year olds - has a mental health disorder
A massive 75% of these receive no support
Failure to intervene early and prevent mental health problems in childhood costs Government about £105 billion a year (Mind)
A unified voice
The CYPMHC brings together around 185 leading organisations, working nationally and locally across England, to form a powerful voice to influence policy and practice around children and young people’s mental health.
It has proved to be a cost-effective way of encouraging a wide range of organisations to work together, learn from each other and form a strong, unified voice to campaign for change.
This unified voice also includes children and young people who directly inform and influence the work. It also brings in their voice via the members, as it enables the Coalition to work with a much larger number and broader range of young people.
For instance, the British Youth Council, one of the members, is a youth-led organisation working with 900,000 young people across the country.
"We see mental health as everyone’s business. When one of us is in distress, there are implications for everyone: lost potential, unemployment and crime are just some of the consequences."
The CYPMHC was launched in 2010, and has been operating under the auspices of the Mental Health Foundation.
A new host, the Centre for Mental Health (CMH), was appointed in July 2018.
The Coalition has achieved a lot in a short space of time, but it is ambitious to do more and keep up the pressure on Government to ensure that policy is put into practice equally across the country, so no child is left behind.
We're incredibly proud of the Coalition's journey to date. For an overview of its key achievements, please download our infographic.
Together we're stronger
As a mature and well respected Coalition, it has demonstrated it can positively influence policy and encourage local areas to transform their services. This powerful, unified voice is one that Government and other Parliamentarians can’t ignore and actually find helpful.
Policy influencing is an ongoing activity, but is especially important currently because of Government activity in this area. The Coalition knows what levers to press and who to talk to in order to achieve high level influencing, both nationally and locally.
On the campaign trail
The Coalition has a good track record in directly influencing Government policy, and there are tangible benefits to all children and young people through its work. This includes:
• Influenced the Government’s report, Future in Mind, which set out a blueprint for the children and young people's mental health system. Many of its members were on the Task group, and their Strategic Lead was seconded into the Department of Health to help develop and write the policy.
• Successfully lobbied the Government to commission an update on the 2004 children and young people's mental health Prevalence Survey, which will be published this year
o It was commissioned by Public Health England to develop a framework for a whole school approach to promote mental health and wellbeing.
o Their briefing set out 3 key elements that need to be put in place to improve pupils’ and teachers’ mental health.
o Working with the Partnership for Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools and the Fair Education Alliance, to collectively lobby and influence policy around children and young people’s mental health in educational settings.
o Main political parties included mental health and wellbeing in schools in their last election manifestos.
o In contact with civil servants to influence policy such as Government’s recent Green Paper on children and young people’s mental health and schools, and the thematic review of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
o Continue to hold the Government to account for its implementation, and also act as a critical friend to influence their thinking at an early stage.
CYPMHC’s Funders’ Alliance
The Children & Young People's Mental Health Coalition Funder's Alliance was originally set up and developed with funding from the Zurich Community Trust (ZCT). More recently, and with the continued support of ZCT, we have set-up a collaboration of funders to further support the Coalition’s policy work and ambition to bring about system change.
Our current ambition is to get 8-10 funders to join the Funders’ Alliance and put in £10,000 a year for 3-5 years to sustain the Coalition’s work. In return, The Coalition will offer funders access to mental health experts, learning events, and an annual networking event for Funders Alliance members. We envisage the Funders’ Alliance helping Foundations and Trusts to get a better understanding of mental health, thus helping them to better target their wider resources.
The basic cost of running the CYPMHC is £90,000 per annum. Funding has been secured for the CYPMHC Funders Alliance from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Comic Relief and from the John Ellerman Foundation together with ongoing support from ZCT.