At the County Council's budget setting meeting in Shire Hall last week the Liberal Democrats successfully secured an investment of £25K for 2016/2017into mental health support for children and young people. This follows from the £450K investment the Liberal Democrats secured two years ago to improve young people’s mental health services.
The Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader and Spokesperson for Public Health, Cllr. Iain Dobie (LD: Leckhampton & Warden Hill) said:
"Children in Gloucestershire's schools suffer significant levels of stress and mental illness, which has resulted in a worryingly high incidence of self-harm.There has been a big increase in the number of young people being admitted to hospital because of self-harm. Over the last ten years this figure has increased by 68%.Two years ago, the Liberal Democrats secured budget funding to launch a pioneering schools-based service to counter this by increasing pupil's mental resilience.
“The subsequent reception from schools has been very positive and this year the Liberal Democrats have secured additional funding to extend the service, notably to children with special needs, for example Asperger's and Autism Spectrum Disorder - this represents a major step forward in mental health.”
It is envisaged that the £25K will be used to develop a resource and training programme for professionals and schools to support these groups of young people who are susceptible to low levels of resilience.
The Liberal Democrat Leader, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said:
“Mental health is one of the Liberal Democrats’ top priorities and I’m pleased that at last all political parties now acknowledge the importance of mental health. There is now an increased awareness that mental illness devastatesthelivesof many young people. Figures reveal that 1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 – 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder, which is around three children in every class. These figures really highlight the need to do more.
“I’m delightedthereforethat as a party we remain committed to improving better mental health care and the Liberal Democrat group on the county council continues to push for further investment in this particular area.
“We look forward to seeing the positive outcomes arising from this additional investment.”