A review led by the former Children’s Commission Anne Longfield Called on prospective UK Prime Ministers to fund £1 billion for children and young people’s mental health services.
It also warns that services are failing to reach children from marginalized groups, such as young black adults, who are disproportionately failing.
The commission’s report, co-authored by the Center for Mental Health Think Tank, highlights evidence that children who attempt suicide are being denied access to community mental health services.
It said: “We heard of one teenage boy who was discharged from hospital after trying to kill himself, but ten days later no one from mental health services contacted him. A young woman was taken to A&E by ambulance after attempting to take her own life, but was discharged 12 hours later.
Her family contacted mental health services every day for over a week, but received no follow-up appointments or phone calls. When the family was finally contacted two weeks later, there was no explanation or sympathy. “
Earlier this month, the charity Young Minds revealed that thousands of children who have reported trying to take their own lives have received treatment from mental health services.
According to the report, the most common reasons for denial of referral for services were conditions that were not “appropriate for treatment” or did not meet eligibility criteria.
It comes as demand for children’s mental health services has increased year-on-year, with 400,000 children receiving care every month in 2022. That’s up from 147,835 in February 2020 and more than 80,000 last year.
However, services are struggling to keep up with demand as figures from Children’s Community Eating Disorder Teams show a xxx reduction in patients presenting for emergency referrals within a week.
Staff shortages were one of the most common reasons for delayed access to mental health services for children and young people, the report said.
The Commission for Young Lives has called on the incoming Prime Minister to create a £1 billion fund for a mental health recovery program for children and young people.
It also called for “guaranteed” mental health assessments for children and youth in treatment, those at risk of being excluded from school, those who are missing, and when children are incarcerated or involved in crime.
He said the government should commit to funding mental health support teams in schools after 2023-24 and aim to have all schools have one by 2030.
It also called on the NHS to measure improvements in mental health and wellbeing services for children and those at risk of harm and those involved in the criminal justice system.
Ann Longfield, Chair of the Young Lives Commission, said: “The children’s mental health emergency in England is so profound that we face a generational threat to our country’s future national prosperity and success. The scale of the problem is growing, rocketing with a pandemic, and the system is straining and unable to cope with the explosion of aid requests.
“Thousands of vulnerable children are falling victim to gaps in the mental health support system, increasing the chances of the resourceful, manipulative and ruthless criminals and abusers who are so good at looking after them.
“The overall government response to the children’s mental health crisis has so far been too slow and inadequate, and we are failing to support the hundreds of thousands of children with mental health problems. It is shocking to hear that some young people who have attempted suicide are still not receiving emergency care and are being discharged without any additional support.”
Chief executive of the Center for Mental Health, Dr Sarah Hughes, said: “The mental health of children and young people is under threat from the after-effects of the pandemic, the cost of living crisis and the ongoing effects of endemic racism and inequality. We need to act now to protect the mental health of those most at risk, including the poorest and most marginalized children in society.
“Expanding child and youth mental health support is essential. “At the same time, we need to reduce child poverty, support young families, make schools mentally healthier and rebuild youth services.”
Calls for £1bn to save mental health services as suicidal children are turned away
Source link Calls for £1bn to save mental health services as suicidal children are turned away