Jane Stevenson, MP for Wolverhampton North East, has raised her concerns about the mental health of young people as schools across the country remain closed.
In a question to the Schools Minister Nick Gibb MP in the House of Commons yesterday (Tuesday 26th January), Jane asked what the Government is doing to support students’ mental health when many of them are anxious about future exam success and struggling with isolation.
She said: “I am increasingly concerned about the mental health of our young people while schools remain closed. Many young people are struggling with feelings of isolation and are worried about falling behind with schoolwork. They are anxious that that will impact their future exam success, their choice of university and their career path. What measures will the Government take to really support these people with their mental health?”
Jane also paid tribute to the two Youth MPs for Wolverhampton, Ruby Cochrane and Tutsirai Rukarwa, who she met with recently to discuss issues affecting young people, including mental health.
In response, Minister Gibb said that the Government had invested £8 million in a programme to boost teacher and pupil wellbeing while schools are closed, which is run by mental health experts. He also said that ministers were “aware and concerned” about the impact the pandemic is having on children’s mental health and wellbeing.
He said: “The Government have made children’s wellbeing and mental health a central part of our response to the pandemic. We have already set up the wellbeing for education return project, backed by £8 million, to help support the wellbeing and resilience of pupils, parents and staff in light of the Covid pandemic and lockdown.
“We are very aware and concerned about the impact that the pandemic has had on the mental wellbeing of so many children in our schools, or at home, trying to learn remotely.”
Jane would encourage any young person struggling with their mental health to seek support. There are several charities which exist to support young people, such as YoungMinds which has a dedicated advice page and a list of organisations that can help. For more information, go to https://youngminds.org.uk/.