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Torfaen MS finds hope in new guidance on whole-school approach to mental health

Written by on 8th July 2020

Torfaen MS Lynne Neagle has welcomed the publication of Welsh Government’s new guidance on a whole-school approach to mental health.

The MS chairs the Senedd’s Children, Young People and Education Committee which called for a whole-school approach to mental health in its landmark ‘Mind Over Matter’ report.

She said: ‘I’ve read lots of Welsh Government documents over the year, but I’ve never read one that has filled me with such hope.’

The guidance is linked to the Welsh Government’s new Curriculum and Assessment Bill which the Education Minister Kirsty Williams MS has introduced to the Senedd to undergo scrutiny.

Lynne Neagle, who has been part of the Ministerial Task and Finish Group that has helped bring the new guidance forward, told the Ministershe was looking forward to the scrutinising the Bill.

She said: ‘As the Minister knows, I’ve been very involved in the development of that guidance through the ministerial task and finish group and the stakeholder group, and I’d like to thank everybody that’s been involved in it and encourage all Members to read it.’

The MS thanked the Minister for listening to representations from herself and third sector organisations like Samaritans Cymru and Mind.

She was delighted the guidance was to be placed on statutory footing. ‘Our children’s mental health is too precious to be left to chance,’ she said.

In reply the Minister acknowledge how passionate Lynne Neagle was about children’s mental health. She said: ‘Everybody in this Chamber knows how passionately Lynne feels about this specific subject. Everybody here will also know that she is a hard taskmaster, and if she’s happy with it, it must mean that it’s a good document.

‘So I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to meet your expectation, and that is down, as you said, to the hard work of many, many people who have not let the Government move an inch away from the principles that were set out in Mind over Matter’.