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Are you there? - Student speaks at House of Commons

Dated: 1 March 2018

Woodhouse student and Childline youth ambassador Beth Asante (pictured far right)
reported back to us this week from the house of commons...
"On Monday 26th February, I spoke to a reception of MPs, youth service leaders and mental health advocates in the house of commons as a Childline youth ambassador. The event was hosted by Nigel Huddleston MP for Mid Worcestershire and I spoke alongside speakers as great as Dame Ester Rantzen founder of Childline, Peter Wanless CEO of the NSPCC and Barbra Keeley MP for Worsley and Eccles South who is the Shadow Cabinet Member for Mental Health and Social Care. The key aim was to meet to discuss the governments green paper proposal - Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision.
Which included: 
  • The creation of new mental health support teams to bridge the gap between schools and specialist CAMHS
  • The introduction of a new four-week waiting time standard for NHS children and young people’s mental health services to be piloted in some areas
  • Every school and college will be encouraged to appoint a designated lead for mental health to be available to all 
All to be funded through a £300m investment to cover at least 1/5 of the country by 2022/2023
And although every single point was great and will make a large difference, myself and many others spoke upon the fact that this may be a step but it’s not enough. Whilst we endure this long wait for change, that will not actually be helping everyone and more support could be given to charities like Childline.
For the past 30 years Childline have supported young people - in the weeks before a referral, the weeks before an assessment and the months before treatment or help is given. It's helped the young people who are alone and trust nobody to seek a confidential counsellor, it's been there for the people who's sadness is not seen on the outside but hurts on the inside.
Childline and the NSPCC are there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It shows in the statistics. In 2016/17, Childline provided over 295,000 counselling sessions to children and young people. And The Childline website received over 3.2 million web visits and has almost 850,000 total registered users.
They are literally saving lives, with over 22,400 counselling sessions being about suicidal thoughts and feelings compared to 8 people calling in 2004 and a 15% increase in the last year alone. People are in need and more can be done. I was so proud to stand up and be a part of a movement that will hopefully bring change now, to protect and care for young people, who may even be our peers and I’m never going to stop speaking upon what matters.
So if you get a moment we’re calling on the Government to increase funding for Childline so we can be there to support every child, night and day. But we need your help. #AreYouThere?
Sign today: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-we-do/campaigns/are-you-there/ to allow the 1 in every 4 phone calls that are missed to be answered.

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