Father says mental health care for young people is stretched to breaking point

  • Father of a young girl with schizophrenia has said mental health services for young people are "stretched to breaking point".

    Kerry Swatridge, whose 15 year old daughter took her own life has called figures showing the rates of self-harm amongst young people on Wales "terrifying", reports Wales Online. /images/mentalhealth.jpg

    Figures show that over 1,5000 patients aged between 10 and 19 have been treated at hospitals in Wales between 2013 and 2014.

    Mr Swatridge said: "The speed of the increase and the prevalence of it is terrifying. I think from what I can see the sector is stretched to breaking point - just in terms of budgets and resources and manpower."

    Mr Swatridge's daughter had spoken to her psychiatrist to say she needed more help hours before she took her own life.  Mr Swatridge and his wife believe that the transition from full-time support in a psychiatric unit to home too sudden.

    The Welsh Government say they have ring-fenced the mental health budget and increased spending from £389m five years ago to £587m in 2014/15.

    A Welsh Government spokeswoman said National Institute for Health and Care Excellence quality standards, which changed in June 2013, recommend all children under 16 are assessed differently following self-harm. "It is not possible to be certain whether the increase in admissions identifies a real increase in the behaviour of children and young people or reflects a change in clinical practice and more decisions being made to admit children for detailed assessments."

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