A multi-agency Gibraltar Government advisory body looking into the welfare of children met this week under the joint chairmanship of Ministers John Cortes and Neil Costa.

It is tasked with making recommendations to the Government on how to improve the provision of mental health services to children and adolescents in Gibraltar.

The committee consists of representatives from the Gibraltar Health Authority, the Care Agency, the Education Department and the Youth Service. The Committee is assisted by a broad spectrum of professional expertise, which includes clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and others engaged in mental health services.

A number of key areas are being addressed including better use of available resources, improved inter-agency coordination, support for children, teachers and families, and training needs.

Local NGOs with an interest in mental health will be asked to contribute to the process.

Minister for Education, Heritage, Environment, Energy and Climate Change, the Hon. John Cortes MP, said: “We have to do all that we can to help young people with mental health needs – potenially that is every child and young person. I have no doubt that the excellent, committed professionals that we have in Gibraltar are the people best placed to guide us in achieving this. This Committee will achieve real results.

Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Hon. Neil F. Costa MP, said: “I am delighted to see how the welfare of children and adolescents is being pushed right to the top of the Government’s agenda. We have formed a solid partnership with other Government departments and agencies to further this cause, backed by a nucleus of mental health experts who are fully behind our endeavours to further develop these services for our young people.”