Mental health is a hot topic at the moment, and for good reason. Cases of mental health issues among children and young people are increasing rapidly, and there is widespread concern across the sector on how to address this.
While the current crisis of children and young people’s mental health may be contained by professionals in clinical settings, the problem is not going to be solved there. Instead, it will be solved by communities – in schools, families, friendship groups, youth clubs and charities – and by changes in attitudes, cultures, beliefs and behaviours of young people themselves, and in their parents, friends, teachers and other professionals.
We need to ensure that young people have access to healthy coping strategies such as exercise, peer support and a long-term bond with a trusted adult, and support to avoid unhealthy strategies like substance abuse, violence, abusive relationships and poor diet.
We are working closely with colleagues across the system in Surrey to work in partnership with children and young people to understand their lives, address the underlying causes together and to focus on prevention rather than cure. By working together, we can create conditions which enable every child in Surrey to thrive, not just to survive.