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Coronavirus (COVID-19) mental health transition and recovery plan - children and young people's mental health: CRWIA

This children’s rights and wellbeing impact assessment (CRWIA) addresses the commitments made in the Coronavirus (COVID-19): mental health - transition and recovery plan and encapsulates the work of multiple policy areas which address children and young people’s mental health.


6. How will the policy/measure give better or further effect to the implementation of the UNCRC in Scotland?

Children and Young People's Mental Health Improvement Joint Delivery Board:

The Board will continue the work of the Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme Board to ensure the development of a coherent, whole system approach with a focus on the pathways and journeys children, young people and their families may take.

CAMHS Improvement: Implementing the CAMHS Improvement programme (including the successful implementation of the National CAMHS and Neurodevelopmental Service Specification and Standards for children and young people) will ensure that children and young people who require mental health and/or neurodevelopmental support will have access to appropriate services and support in the right place, at the right time. All work planned and delivered through the CAMHS Improvement programme (through the National CAMHS and Neurodevelopmental Service Specifications) is based on the child's best interest. This meets Article 3 (best interests of the child) – the best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children. It also meets Article 5 (parental guidance and a child's evolving capacities) and Article 6 (life, survival and development). Governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parent, carers and families to provide guidance and direction to their child as they grow up, so that they fully enjoy their rights. This must be done in a way that recognises the child's increasing capacity to make their own choices. Every child has the right to life. Governments must do all they can to ensure that children survive and develop to their full potential. This works also supports Article 12 (respect for the views of the child) – every child has a right to express their views and have them given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity. Children should be provided with the opportunity to be heard, either directly or through a representative or appropriate body.

Eating Disorder Policy: Implementing the CAMHS Improvement programme and specific improvements to Eating Disorder services for children and young people will ensure that children and young people who require support and treatment for an eating disorder will have access to appropriate services and support in the right place, at the right time. All work planned and delivered through Eating Disorder Policy development is based on the child's best interest. This meets Article 3 (best interests of the child) – the best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children. It also meets Article 5 (parental guidance and a child's evolving capacities) and Article 6 (life, survival and development). Governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parent, carers and families to provide guidance and direction to their child as they grow up, so that they fully enjoy their rights. This must be done in a way that recognises the child's increasing capacity to make their own choices. Every child has the right to life. Governments must do all they can to ensure that children survive and develop to their full potential. This works also supports Article 12 (respect for the views of the child) – every child has a right to express their views and have them given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity. Children should be provided with the opportunity to be heard, either directly or through a representative or appropriate body.

Community Mental Health: The Community Mental Health and Wellbeing funding for children and young people will ensure that children and young people have increased access and choice of support for their mental health and wellbeing in a community setting. This meets Article 24 (health and health services) Every child has the right to the best possible health. Governments must provide good quality health care, clean water, nutritious food, and a clean environment and education on health and well-being so that children can stay healthy. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this.

The Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework makes clear that the needs and voices of children, young people and their families should be central to the design and delivery of the new and enhanced services. The Scottish Government has also commissioned the Scottish Youth Parliament to undertake a youth led independent evaluation of services. This evaluation will be used to inform future community mental health and wellbeing services for children and young people. This meets article 12 (respect for the views of the child) Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. This right applies at all times, for example during immigration proceedings, housing decisions or the child's day-to-day home life.

Perinatal and Early Years Mental Health:

The Infant Mental Health - Implementation and Advisory Group has been set up as part of the Scottish Government Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board to develop a model of infant mental health provision to meet the needs of families experiencing significant adversity, including infant developmental difficulties, perinatal mental illness, parental substance misuse, domestic abuse and trauma.

All the work planned and completed by the Programme Board is based on the child's best interest. Throughout the decisions and actions, it is a priority to help all children to experience the best childhood so that they can reach their potential. This meets Article 3 (best interests of the child). The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children. Each Health Board/Integrated Joint Board now has an Executive Lead responsible for the delivery of Perinatal and Infant Mental Health.

The Board will also action suggestions from the working groups and sub groups to be able to establish services that will support both infants and their parents with any mental health problems. This meets Article 5 (parental guidance and a child's evolving capacities). Governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parent, carers and families to provide guidance and direction to their child as they grow up, so that they fully enjoy their rights. This must be done in a way that recognises the child's increasing capacity to make their own choices.

This will also include parental guidance and training to help parents learn the skills while encouraging them to build a strong loving relationship with their child. When the parents and families are supported and learn the best way forward they will be able to provide the best family life for their child and the child's rights will be met. This meets Article 18 (parental responsibilities and state assistance). Both parents share responsibility for bringing up their child and should always consider what is best for the child. Governments must support parents by creating support services for children and giving parents the help they need to raise their children.

The work overseen by the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board aims for infants to experience leisure time where they can feel safe to relax and to learn though play. This can be within the home environment, baby and toddlers groups or outside at parks and leisure areas and activities. The policy and actions by groups and organisations working collaboratively can enable a wide variety of cultural and artistic activities for children to experience. This meets Article 31 (leisure, play and culture). Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.

Through the Programme Board work, all children who require help and support while recovering from trauma and reintegration will receive it from professionals who have been trained to a high standard in the specialist set of skills required. The support will help the children continue their lives while recovering their health, dignity and self-respect, by receiving the right help at the right time for their recovery.

This meets Article 39 (recovery from trauma and reintegration) Children who have experienced neglect, abuse, exploitation, torture or who are victims of war must receive special support to help them recover their health, dignity, self-respect and social life.

Infant's Voice

The perspective of the infant has been identified as a gap in the design and delivery of Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services. Recognising that this is no less important than listening to the experiences of their parents, a short-life working group has been established on the Voice of the Infant to address this and develop new guidance if required. The group will report back to the Infant Mental Health Implementation and Advisory Group (IMH-IAG). The group's aims are to produce a clear statement on the Scottish Government's position on the rights of the infant and how to include the infant's perspective in all Mental Health services within Scotland which support infants, parents and carers.

Children and Young People's Mental Health:

Article 3 (best interests of the child) Ensuring that children and young people have access to the right support and advice at the right time, without stigma, is a key priority for the Scottish Government. This aligns with our wider work to embed GIRFEC in all of the ways we design supports for Children and Young People and in taking a preventative approach to supporting their mental health and wellbeing. That is why we have supported a range of measures to ensure that children and young people have support in settings such as schools, universities and colleges and can aces a range of advice and resources online.

Article 5 (parental guidance and a child's evolving capacities) We support a range of resources for parents and carers of Children and Young People to ensure that they have the right advice, guidance and resources to support their children's mental health and wellbeing. This includes a range of resources and associated social marketing campaigns delivered through ParentClub.scot.

Article 6 (life, survival and development) Through embedding support and resources in education and school settings, as well as providing a range of resources and support for children and young people which is age appropriate and tailored to their needs, we are supporting their development and equipping them with the skills and knowledge which will enable them to take more control of their wellbeing and mental health. This approach is aligned to our aims of focusing on early intervention and prevention as the most effective tool in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Article 12 (respect for the views of the child) Through engagement with children and young people's organisations and continued support for a range of national surveys and data collection exercises we continuously monitor the views, opinions and wellbeing of children and young people and engage directly with them. In addition, we have supported a number of youth commissions, national conversations and data collection exercises to gather the views of CYP on new and emerging areas of policy and to respond to their needs.

Article 24 (health and health services) Through investing in embedding specific mental health focused support staff and counselling support in education settings, improving training for all staff in the children and families workforce so they are informed in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people and developing resources, information and support for children and young people, we are committed to supporting their health and wellbeing through prevention and early intervention.

Student Mental Health and Wellbeing: Article 3 and Article 12. The Mental Health Transition & Recovery Plan provides the platform to take forward the development of an evidence informed Student Mental Health Action Plan, building on existing actions such as the provision of 80 additional counsellors to support young people at college or university.

Expanding the National Trauma Training Programme: Supporting systems, services and organisations to embed and sustain trauma-informed approaches across every sector of the workforce is fundamentally related to the work to progress children's rights in Scotland. In particular, the UNCRC Article 19 (protection from violence, abuse and neglect), Article 24 (right to possible best health), Article 34 (protection from sexual abuse and exploitation), and Article 39 (recovery from trauma and reintegration). This is related to the mitigating the consequences of adverse and traumatic experiences in childhood and ensuring support throughout the life-course for people affected – for children, young people and adults.

Contact

Email: CYPMentalHealth@gov.scot

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