A recent report by the children’s commissioner for England has found that nearly 60% of local authorities have seen a real-term fall in spending on children’s mental health services.
One of the UK’s leading health and well-being charities, The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, is hoping that their latest initiative will go some way in helping to support children and families in the communities they serve, and compensate for the lack of intervention services that are currently accessible to most.
The report, early access to mental health support, was published by Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England last month, and revealed that there’s a postcode lottery facing the increasing number of children suffering from low-level mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
Monica Shafaq, CEO of the Kaleidoscope Plus Group said: ‘Our charity supports anyone in need, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. We’ve definitely seen the very real effects of funding cuts when it comes to children’s “low-level” mental health services. That’s why we’ve made it one of our charity’s top priorities.’
The Kaleidoscope Plus Group will shortly be unveiling their new support platform, which will be devoted to providing free information on children’s mental health. The new platform will be aimed at parents, children, teachers, grandparents, siblings – anyone who’s looking for guidance and support regarding a child’s mental well-being. The new platform will include a website, and dedicated social media handles, including a Facebook group. Features will include: instant messaging, live group sessions, as well as informative videos from The Kaleidoscope Plus Group’s specialist team about dealing with specific mental health issues.
Monica continued: ‘The aim of our latest initiative is to equip communities with the skills they need to help those who are the most vulnerable: our children. We know, from research, that young people first seek help for mental health issues online. So, it seemed necessary, in the wake of the children’s commissioners report, for our charity to develop a way of engaging with children and carers via a platform that they’d be most comfortable accessing.’
The NHS Long Term Plan has made children’s mental health a top priority, but The Kaleidoscope Plus Group believe that it will not succeed unless children with low-level mental health problems are offered help quickly.
‘Low-level services which include support provided by counsellors, school nurses and drop-in centres, are crucial to helping prevent mental health issues from developing into more serious illnesses. If we, as a charity, can help to ease the pressures of our overstretched system, then we will do all we can’, concluded Monica.