Health

Young London SOS: Sadiq Khan must do more, says London Assembly as it backs our campaign


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he London Assembly has called on the Mayor to do much more to “explicitly address” the crisis in mental health among young people – and has thrown its weight behind our Young London SOS campaign.

The elected 25-member body that holds the Mayor to account has put pressure on City Hall to make tackling young Londoners’ mental health “a priority” of his Covid-19 recovery strategy.

It urged Sadiq Khan to call on the Government to increase overall funding for mental health to ensure mental health of young Londoners is adequately resourced in the recovery. They also want the Mayor to evaluate the provision of mental health services in schools across London and draw up an action plan to “secure funding for schools to commission mental health services”.

It follows a survey conducted by The London Assembly Health Committee of more than 300 young Londoners in January in which 85 per cent of respondents said the pandemic had “made them feel down or very down”.

The survey focused especially on the mental health impacts on young people from lower income homes, young carers and young people with disabilities, which Public Health England has admitted are “under-researched” groups.

There are more than 800,000 children living in poverty in London, over 70,000 young carers and at least 200,000 young people living with some level of disability.

A spokesperson for the London Assembly Health Committee said: “Our research has shown that young people are struggling to know who to turn to for mental health support, sometimes due to embarrassment and sometimes because they feel their problems don’t matter.

“That is why raising awareness is so important and why we applaud the Evening Standard for drawing attention to children’s mental health needs in their Young London SOS campaign.”



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