Children's mental health plans fall short, says The Children’s Society

By agency reporter
July 26, 2018

Commenting on the Government’s response to the consultation into its Green Paper on Child Mental Health, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said: “While the Government’s commitment to put more support into schools is welcome, it doesn’t do nearly enough to address the crisis in children’s mental health services.

“Hundreds of thousands of young people are struggling with mental ill-health and these proposals fall short of what is needed to urgently tackle long waiting times and shortcomings in support.

“As little as one fifth of the country would benefit from the planned pilot schemes, meaning the current postcode lottery will continue for the foreseeable future and it could be years before the changes are rolled out.

“Many more children could be reached, and quickly, by committing to the provision of counsellors in all secondary schools and colleges as soon as possible.

“More funding is needed if trusts are to meet the four-week waiting time target, and there is little in the plans to improve early support for the most vulnerable groups of children – including those affected by sexual abuse and neglect, domestic violence, those excluded from school and refugee children – which can prevent mental health problems from escalating.

“The proposals do not do enough to improve provision for older young people, particularly in colleges, and we would urge the Government to ensure all young people can access Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services up to the age of 25, rather than 18 or 16.  We have seen through our own services how this model can help address the worrying problem of young people falling through the cracks between children’s and adult mental health services.

“These proposals do not reflect the urgency of the situation facing young people in desperate need of help right now and we would call on ministers to think again and strengthen these plans.”

* The Children's Society https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/

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