Let the next ‘new normal’ be one in which children come first

School closures, disruption to routine, and living in homes with financial and relationship struggles have all had an adverse impact on the mental health of young people, writes Michael Samuel

Monday 03 January 2022 18:56
<p>‘The resources simply aren’t there to match the support they need’ </p>

‘The resources simply aren’t there to match the support they need’

Our children are faced with great uncertainty about returning to school this week – and the dread of another lockdown. The rules are changing all the time; secondary school pupils have now been told to wear masks in the classroom.

Inconsistency can be unsettling, and barely a week goes by without another survey showing the worrying state of the mental health of our youngsters. This is an extremely perturbing situation, which many of us in the profession witness at first hand.

I am the chair of the Anna Freud Centre, which has provided training and support for child mental health services since 1952. And, while they have generally escaped the worst physical effects of Covid up until now, I can tell you personally that many young people have faced a very difficult combination of depression, anxiety and grief over the past two years.

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