Many schools and parents alike have raised with me their concerns about the support that is available for children and young people with mental health issues and those with Special Educational Needs. I therefore welcome the announcement made by the Department for Education’s Opportunity Area that they will launch a local programme targeted at reducing waiting times. Alongside this they are also committing to funding for support centres in Fenland and East Cambs over the next four years.

This is part of a wider package of opportunities for schools and parents in our local area to ensure that every child in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire can reach their potential regardless of health needs. Cambridgeshire County Council are now offering schools in our area access to CHUMS, the Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Service which support children and young people with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression and offer preventative interventions for other behaviours such as self-harm. Secondary schools will also receive training in mental health first aid, to help identify and tackle mental health issues within schools.

There is much more to be done both locally and nationally on mental health, and I am keen to continue to raise the profile of this area.

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