The British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapy has launched its latest campaign this week in line with Children’s Mental Health Week. It is urging the Government to extend counseling provisions and ensure equality across the UK.
Call for Action campaign.
The British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapy (BACP) is a registered charity and professional association with 19,000 members in the UK.
They have launched their Call For Action campaign this week by highlighting the urgent need to ensure that mental health remains at the forefront of funding.
The BACP confirmed that “more young people are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing – and they’re finding it difficult to access professional support.”
The Government needs to address five key points urgently
The BACP has set up five critical issues as part of this campaign to ensure that children and young people get more significant investment in and access to counseling services.
1. A paid counselor should be available in every secondary school, academy, and FE college.
Notably, England is the only country in the UK that does NOT have government-funded school counseling, and support in schools in England needs to be more consistent.
2. Fully-funded early support hubs will give young people access to help at the earliest opportunity without an appointment or referral.
Building on the campaign launched last year by Youth Access in partnership with YoungMinds, Mind, The Children’s Society, and the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition that called on the Government to fund early support hubs in England.
These hubs would allow children and families to access a full range of support and counseling. All parties involved in this campaign are urging progress.
3. Counseling can be a vital early intervention to help young people before they reach a crisis point.
There is so much evidence that early intervention with children works, and speaking to trained counselors has many positive and long-lasting effects on children regarding their friendships, school attendance, achievements, resilience, self-worth, and relationships.
BACP calls on the Government to acknowledge that the long-term impact supports children and families and will ease the strain on the NHS.
4. School counseling is easily accessible, non-stigmatizing, and provides children with support in a non-medical setting.
BACP is urging counseling at school to help the ‘missing middle.’ So many children are not eligible for counseling that is on offer but need it.
Having counseling accessible at school will support children in a familiar setting, thus reducing the stigma attached to mental health support and those receiving it.
5. Counseling funding must be long-term to ensure children get the support they need and counselors are paid for their skills and expertise.
The UK Government must ensure that children’s welfare and mental health policies provide for counseling. Importantly they need to ensure that the budget is communicated and ringfenced for this area.
This spending needs to be identified and accounted for at each budget announcement. Thereby raising the profile of public spending in this area and thus ensuring a transparent, fair, and long-term perspective is taken.
To conclude, there is much to be done, and BACP is meeting with the Minister for Children, Families, and Wellbeing Claire Coutinho MP later this month to highlight the importance of investigating counseling.
Implementing counseling at school with support policies and funding would significantly impact millions of children, families, and our economy for the better.
Importantly, each child in the four UK regions deserves equal access to counseling services, and postcode should never decide this.
My Mind News would love to hear about any experiences our readers have had regarding counseling services at school.