On 20th October 2015 Lord Stone of Blackheath asked Her Majesty’s Government “what progress has been made in establishing parity of esteem between mental and physical well-being.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, the NSPCC report on achieving emotional well-being among young people in care found that 45% of them experience mental health problems, many of which continue to remain undiagnosed. It recommends that those young people should have not only an automatic physical health assessment but an automatic mental health assessment. Will Her Majesty’s Government consider introducing legislation to give that right to all young people as they enter care?
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On 23rd June 2015 Lord Storey asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to develop mental health services for pupils and young people.” The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a further question:
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, mental health cannot be considered in isolation from the rest of life. For example, a number of recent deaths of young people by suicide have been connected to their use of the internet or social media. Is the Minister prepared to work with the Department for Education, other education providers and others, to produce a rounded programme of support for the whole person in their context? Will he also indicate the Government’s support for the Online Safety Bill introduced by the noble Baroness, Lady Howe? Continue reading “Young people’s mental health – Bishop of Peterborough asks Government to explore impact of social media”
“It is our duty and responsibility in this place to care for what we in the church call the “common good”—to care for the well-being of society and, not least, of young people.”- Bishop of Peterborough, 16/3/15
On 16th March the Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, spoke in a debate on the motion to approve the ‘Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015’, to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes. The Bishop argued that the measure is necessary to safeguard the health of young people in the UK. The motion to approve the Regulations was passed.
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, I, too, was not planning to speak, but I am most grateful to the Minister for bringing this measure before us. I will make a very simple point. Packaging is designed to make the contents of the package attractive. This is about changing culture and changing the way that people think about tobacco and smoking. We all know the health arguments—they are indisputable and very clear. However, many young people, in particular, are still led astray and into dangerous behaviour—into self-harming of a very subtle but difficult sort.
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“We know that transitioning to adulthood is challenging and demanding for all young people today, but how much more so for care leavers” – Bishop of Leicester, 12/3/15.
On 12th March 2015 the Bishop of Leicester, Rt Rev Tim Stevens, spoke in a debate tabled by Baroness Eaton, “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to help young care leavers not able to “stay put” in foster care to make a successful transition to independence.”
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On 10th March 2015 Lord Touhig asked Her Majesty’s Government “how many people are awaiting assessment for personal independence payments?” The Bishop of Leicester, Rt Rev Tim Stevens, asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords, can the Minister tell us how many 16 and 17 year-olds are awaiting reassessment? What action do the Government propose to take to meet the additional needs of that group, including providing support for them through the reassessment process?
Lord Freud: I will have to write to the right reverend Prelate on that matter. I do not have the data on 16 and 17 year-olds so I shall write to him.
On 25th February 2105, the Earl of Listowel led a short debate in the House of Lords, to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to improve mental health services for infants, children and young people, for care leavers, and for adults with care experience. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate, focusing his remarks on the risk of suicide amongst young people suffering from mental health issues.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, the terrible reality of the effects of mental health could not have been more powerfully illustrated than by the story reported in the press last week of 18 year-old Edward Mallen. He was not one of “those unfortunates”—he had 12 A* GCSEs and was predicted to achieve three A* A-levels; he had got grade 8 piano and a place at Girton to read geography—but he rapidly descended, over quite a short time, into depression and died under a train. Not only is it an affront to think of that young life, with all its potential and opportunities, suddenly being lost with his death, but the scars will stay with all the members of his family for the rest of their lives. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans speaks in debate on mental health services”
On 14th January 2015, Lord Phillips of Sudbury asked Her Majesty’s Government how they propose to enhance the amount and quality of citizenship education in order to increase the democratic participation and engagement of young citizens. The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Lichfield: My Lords, will the Minister join me in congratulating the young people highlighted by the I Will campaign, who have so ably demonstrated the impact that young people can have in transforming their own communities?
Lord Nash: I entirely agree with the right reverend Prelate. Active citizenship is an essential part of the citizenship national curriculum and all students should have the opportunity of participating in volunteering.