Welsh Conservatives are calling on Labour ministers to transform mental health care provision after a ‘concerning’ report on the impact of the pandemic on young people.
James Evans, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Mid Wales, says more must be done to help young people who have been struggling with their mental health during the pandemic.
A concerning report by mental health charity Mind Cymru revealed two thirds of young people felt their mental health had worsened since the pandemic began.
Commenting on the findings, James Evans said:
“The last 18 months have been tough on everyone, but especially our young people, and this is a concerning report regarding the impact of the pandemic on our young people.
“Many have been robbed of life milestones which many of us took for granted in the past, such as heading to university, 18th birthday parties, sixth form balls and passing their driving tests.
“The knock-on effect of prolonged unplanned lockdowns is now beginning to be seen, with huge waiting lists for driving tests. Young people are at very little risk and deserve their freedoms back.
“They were out of the classroom for months on end and unable to socialise with their friends, so it is unsurprising that many youngsters are feeling lonely and isolated.
“We need to see urgent action from Labour ministers in Cardiff Bay, starting with a cast-iron guarantee that they will transform mental health by giving it the same focus and energy that is given to physical health.
“Ministers should explore introducing a new Mental Health Act, establishing a network of mental health crisis centres, and ensuring all young people have access to mental health services at schools, colleges and universities.
“I will be lobbying ministers in the Senedd to make sure our young people get the help they need and deserve.”