Children’s mental health matters

For some time Children First International (CFI) has been mindful of the increasingly disturbing news that more and more young children are being affected by mental health issues. Alarmingly, the facts show that more and more primary school-age children are suffering from mental health issues. Aligned with this increase there is the lack of funding that prevents many children from getting access to the professional help that they need when it is needed most.

The government acknowledges in its response published in 2018 to the Green Paper (Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision) that one in ten (around 850,000) children and young people have a diagnosable mental health condition with half of all mental health conditions beginning before the age of 14. These are shocking statistics that no one should be proud of and we are determined to do our bit to help address this situation in whatever way we can.

The charity’s Trustees are themselves parents (myself a grandparent) and know personally the trials and tribulations of bringing up children in an ever-changing society where expectations place great pressure on children of all ages. Accordingly, for the last two years the charity’s runners in the Virgin Money London Marathon have been raising money to fund a mental health project for primary school-aged children and I am delighted to be able to announce that working in partnership with Talk Through It we will launch a pilot scheme in September 2019 to coincide with the start of the 2019/20 school academic year.

The pilot will commence in September 2019 and continue until the end of the autumn term. Initially, it will embrace five local primary schools that have been selected on the basis of perceived need using criteria developed from our own research. If the pilot is successful it is likely to be rolled out on a larger and wider geographic scale and will see the charity bidding for funding from larger grant-making charities and organisations.

For more information about the pilot project please click on

Talk Through It is a service for children and young people from age 6 to 19 in Newbury, West Berkshire, who are finding it difficult to cope with issues at school or home. They may have anxiety issues that keep them from achieving the life that they want. Sometimes issues at school (friendship, teachers, work, and peer pressure) get in the way and sometimes home events are too much for children and they can’t cope. Mannerisms and behaviour start to change, leading to anxiety.

Talk Through It uses solution-focused techniques to help children move forward and has been operating for about 3 years.

For more information about Talk Through It click on