The Association of Play Industries is attending the launch of the ‘Mental Health in Childhood’ report at the APPG on a Fit & Healthy Childhood at Westminster this evening.
The All-Party Group was formed to find ways to improve children’s health and wellbeing and is calling for a positive approach to the Government’s Child Mental Health proposals.
Publishing this its 10th report: ‘Mental Health in Childhood,’ the APPG is championing early intervention rather than relying upon expensive later-stage crisis services.
Speaking today, API Chair Mark Hardy, says: “As the UK association which champions the importance of play in children’s healthy development, we very much welcome the Group’s call for a Secretary of State for Children.
“As a nation we face an unprecedented increase in children and young people suffering from mental health problems, from anxiety to depression, and these issues are very often precursors for mental health difficulties in adult life.
“Our own research has uncovered an alarming decline in playgrounds and spaces in which children can play freely. As more and more children retreat indoors, alone and engaging primarily with their tablets and phones, their mental health is suffering.
“In this APPG report we present the case for halting this decline and providing the facilities children need in order to play before it is too late. Play is integral to the happiness and wellbeing of young people – it is not a luxury we can afford to cut back on.
“A Minister for Children would be a clear signal that the Government is prioritising the welfare of children in this country. To be a child is to play and harsh restrictions on their opportunities to do so are damaging. We will continue to champion play as a vital component of children’s healthy mental, emotional and physical development.”