A local MP has pledged support for an NSPCC campaign to start counting the number of children who have been abused and are in need of mental health support.
The Government has pledged £1.4 billion over the next five years to improve children’s mental health in England.
But incredibly, there are no official government figures on the number of young people most at risk of self-harm or suicidal thoughts due to of childhood abuse.
This means there are gaps in services that health authorities simply can’t identify.
And children who just aren’t getting the help they need to rebuild their lives.
Worsley and Eccles South MP Barbara Keeley is now part of Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet for Mental Health and Social Care.
She joins the NSPCC campaign ‘It’s Time’, to heap pressure on government bodies to make sure all children who experience abuse receive the critical therapeutic support they need.
Research has found that up to 90% of children who are abused at an early age will develop mental health problems by the time they are 18.
Every year the equivalent of two children in every primary school class experience abuse.
NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless explains: “We take it for granted that the government has data on everything that’s important.
“But right now, they’re not counting the number of children who’ve been abused and need support.
“This means some children are left without any help at all.
“Too often it is only when a child is self-harming or on the brink of suicide that support opens up for them.
“It’s unacceptable that a child who has lived through abuse needs to be at crisis point before they get help.
“It has to change.”
On World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2016, the children’s charity handed a 31,000-signature petition to Downing Street calling on government to start to count the number of children who have been abused and need support.
Barbara said: “I was deeply concerned to hear that many children who have experienced abuse are not receiving the critical mental health support they need until they reach crisis point.
“Even more worrying is that some children are receiving no help at all.
“I will be putting pressure on the Government to take action to ensure that every child from Salford and from across the country who has experienced abuse, can receive the mental health support they need, when they need it.”
Main image: NSPCC