Mental health: A major step forward?

The recent Select Committee report on mental health is welcome, but has one glaring omission and one worrying inclusion, says Dr Bernard Trafford

Last week, the Education Select Committee published its long-awaited report on children and young people’s mental health. There were no surprises. Nor should there have been: the matter is too pressing and too important to be delayed by prevarication or political in-fighting.

The report warns government about the effect of its own policies on children’s wellbeing: “Achieving a balance between promoting academic attainment and wellbeing should not be regarded as a zero-sum activity. Greater wellbeing can equip pupils to achieve academically. If the pressure to promote academic excellence is detrimentally affecting pupils, it becomes self-defeating. Government and schools must be conscious of the stress and anxiety that they are placing on pupils and ensure that sufficient time is allowed for activities which develop life-long skills for wellbeing.”

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