World Mental Health Day this year marks 18 months since the world-wide onslaught of Covid-19 and despite some tremendous medical and scientific advances (most notably a range of vaccines for this lethal disease) we cannot as yet see either a ‘return to normal’ or the end of the pandemic.
As the World Health Organisation is only too well aware Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the wellbeing and mental health of people of all ages – and in particular, the very youngest children who are in special need because they cannot articulate the new, unpleasant (and perhaps frightening) feelings that they are experiencing.
Play therapy is vital; especially in early detection and preventive strategies and also in helping children to deal with the experience of ACEs, bereavement and trauma.
Yet many primary schools and early years settings do not employ a registered play therapist and the Government has neither ear-marked a sum of money for the purpose nor made play therapy a core service at the new family hubs, currently under wide-scale UK roll-out.
Please use 10th October as a reminder to contact your MP and ask them to call upon the Government to provide the resources for early years settings and primary schools to employ a registered play therapist and for play therapy to be a core service available at family hubs. Ask to meet your MP so that you can tell them about your own work with young children. Ask your MP to sign the Child Mental Health Charter, available here the Six Principle template for mental health services that we want to see for every child when the Government introduces a new Mental Health Bill to the House Commons for scrutiny in 2022.
Help Play Therapy UK to help children today.
Helen Clark: Director, The Child Mental Health Charter Campaign