Parents and carers open up about children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health
15 February 2019
More than 80 parents and carers came together at an engagement event on Tuesday 12 February to discuss ways of improving children and young people's emotional wellbeing and mental health.
The It's Time to Talk evening was organised by Brent Council working with Brent Clinical Commissioning Group to engage with local parents and carers and to develop community-led solutions to the issue.
The event included a presentation by Zoe Kattah and three young people from Brent Young People Thrive who spoke about tackling the stigmas around mental health, while two members of Brent Parent Carer Forum shared their first-hand experiences. Attendees were also introduced to the '5+1' model, which sets out six ways of improving personal wellbeing, by Dr Melanie Smith, Brent Council's Director of Public Health. Residents took part in a workshop to discuss ways of promoting better mental health among children and young people.
Councillor Mili Patel, Lead Member for Children's Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care at Brent Council, said: "We know that early intervention for children who are experiencing mental health problems is especially important as it can help prevent longer-term conditions from developing.
"It was incredibly helpful to hear from the parents and carers who attended Tuesday's session. We will be considering their feedback, alongside the NHS Brent Clinical Commissioning Group."
The meeting was set up in response to a series of recommendations given by a scrutiny task group which looked into Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in the borough.
Councillor Ahmad Shahzad OBE, Chair of Wellbeing Scrutiny Task Group, said "Mental health is a growing issue that we need to address as a community which is why it is important to create these opportunities to bring people together. It was great to see so many local people contributing to the discussion and working together to find solutions."
It is estimated that around 4,575 school age children in Brent have a diagnosable mental health condition. Yet just one in three will access support.
For more information about the services offered in Brent, go to:https://www.brent.gov.uk/childmentalhealth
Advice on promoting good mental health is also available at: https://www.brent.gov.uk/services-for-residents/healthy-living/