This morning Worthing Mums sent a very important email to our local MP Tim Loughton to persuade him to take forward a Private Members Bill on mental health and well-being in schools. Tim was selected from a ballot of MPs last week as one of just 20 non-Government backbench MPs who is able to bring forward a piece of legislation on any topic he chooses.
He will be making a decision imminently and we would really need to send an email by the end of TODAY.
To give a bit more background, we are working with the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and the children’s mental health charity YoungMinds on a campaign to rebalance the education system and promote mental health and well-being in schools. As a core part of this campaign NCB are hoping to change the law to ensure all children are able to access mental health and well-being support in the classroom. One way to achieve this is to persuade our MP to use their Private Members Bill to change the law in this area.
A full briefing about the Bill NCB are proposing for your information can be found at this link: https://www.ncb.org.uk/what-we-do/what-we-do/research-policy/ncbs-policy-and-influencing-activity/latest-briefings.
Additionally, please also see NCB’s article in Children and Young People now on why we need a Bill for wellbeing in schools: http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/envers-insights-blog/2003886/why-we-need-a-bill-for-wellbeing-in-schools
From the YoungMinds.org.uk Website:
There is a mental health crisis in our classrooms. 3 children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental disorder and 90% of school leaders have reported an increase in the last 5 years in the number of students experiencing anxiety, stress, low mood or depression.
Children and young people are facing more pressures than ever before, including exam pressure, social media and cyber-bullying and pressure over body image.
Schools play a crucial role in developing the skills young people need to cope and flourish in today’s world. They are a constant in young peoples’ lives, and are a safe, consistent place for vulnerable young people.
As well as this, children with better health and wellbeing are likely to perform better academically.
We are calling for a change in government policy to ensure schools prioritise the wellbeing of their students alongside academic achievement.
There needs to be Government legislation, regulation and/or policy, which embeds student wellbeing as a priority area in schools.
And here is HOW YOU CAN HELP with the email you could send to Tim Loughton MP:
Dear Mr Loughton,
I am writing, as [INSERT ROLE, a constituent, local parent etc], to congratulate you on being selected in last week’s Private Member’s Bill Ballot and to ask whether you would consider using this unique opportunity to address the mental health crisis in our classrooms?
Charities, YoungMinds and the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), have drafted a Bill that would rebalance the education system, so that schools have the resource they need to keep children happy and healthy, alongside aiming for academic success. This is based on evidence and is part of the charities’ Wise Up campaign.
Three children in every classroom are estimated to have a diagnosable mental health problem. Schools can play a critical role in helping prevent mental health problems escalating, in building well-being and resilience and supporting young people to develop the skills they need to cope throughout their lives.
However, the huge pressure on schools and students to achieve academically means that often schools are unable to prioritise students’ mental health. Schools could play a big part in solving the UK’s mental health crisis, but we need to change the way the education system works to help them to do this.
The Bill could transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of children, by rebalancing the education system to make sure student well-being is a top priority.
I feel very strongly about this issue and I would be grateful to know if you would consider working with YoungMinds and the NCB to adopt this Bill?
I hope to hear from you soon.
Please help us help young minds! Send the email to Tim Loughton at firstname.lastname@example.org and help us really build a powerful voice of the parents and families in Worthing and Shoreham. Thank you so much!