MP warns of threat to children and young people’s mental and psychological wellbeing

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Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane has claimed children are under threat “like never before” and there are “dark clouds ahead” because of threats to their mental and psychological wellbeing.

The Labour MP this week secured a debate in which he raised concerns about what he says are the multiple dangers to wellbeing faced by children today, ranging from poverty to self-harm and screen violence.

He told MPs: “Our children are under threat like never before. In the past, threats to children were mainly physical. Many died in infancy, when working, or of diseases. The modern threat to our children and young people is more to their mental and psychological wellbeing.

“There are dark clouds ahead and we all need to monitor this area”.

Tim Loughton, Conservative Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, congratulated Mr Ruane on raising the subject but said research by the Children’s Society found “90% of the young people who were interviewed are satisfied with their lives”.

Responding to Mr Ruane’s views a Welsh Government spokesman told the Western Mail: “We take children and young people’s mental wellbeing seriously in Wales. It is important that young people know there is someone available to listen to their concerns and worries, whatever they may be.

“That’s why we’ve put in place our successful school- based counselling strategy which the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) recently found is an integral part of school provision in Wales.

“We have also established Meic, our 24/7 confidential advocacy and advice helpline can offer support and guidance to young people when they need it most.

“Young people who self-harm are treated in accordance with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) guidance. Every young person who has self-harmed would have a comprehensive assessment of needs and risk.”

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