Royal College of Nursing members have voted to lobby the UK governments to invest in services to promote the emotional wellbeing and positive mental health of children and young people.
A resolution on children’s mental health was passed today by 100% at the union’s annual congress in Glasgow.
Lots of RCN members spoke passionately about the need to protect the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people, with long queues of delegates wanting to comment.
These included paediatric nurse Emily Hudson who noted that there was a spike in children self-harming at this time of year, possibly as a result of exam stress.
The case for the resolution was presented by Corina Christos on behalf of the RCN’s Children and Young People Staying Healthy Forum.
The forum highlighted that mental health difficulties had become increasingly common in children and young people.
It quoted recent figures suggesting up to 20% of children and young people were affected by a range of disorders including depression, anxiety, eating disorders and self-harm.
The forum said that many experienced difficulties that were not covered by criteria for Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
It suggested school nursing services were “uniquely placed” to fill the gap, but there were only an estimated 1,208 school nurses across the UK.
That this meeting of RCN Congress calls on RCN Council to lobby governments of the UK to invest in services to promote the emotional wellbeing and positive mental health of our children and young people