Digital counselling to CAMHS – children's commissioner focused on mental health

An urgent expansion of mental health support and digital counselling, help for children struggling with school attendance and anxiety after the pandemic, and stronger safeguarding to protect young people on social media.

These are among the calls to action to emerge from the largest ever survey of children and young people in England.

The Big Ask initiative, run by England’s children’s commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza, garnered responses from 557,077 children aged four to 17 and representing every area of the country.

The subsequent report – The Big Answer (2021) – sets out areas of concern for our young people but also encapsulates their hopes, post-pandemic, for the future. Key findings included:

Schools and education

The report calls for a “comprehensive catch-up package for schools”, but does not weigh into the row over the inadequacy of the government’s catch-up funding package for education.

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