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
The Coalition also successfully raised awareness of and influenced policy and practice regarding mental health in schools:
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.
As you can see, 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 the Government to ensure that policy is put into practice equally across the country, so no child is left behind.