HELP NEEDED FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
“The UK consistently comes towards the bottom of Unicef’s ranking of child wellbeing in the 21 most economically advanced countries”, the Guardian reports.
On the 21st of October, Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, said:
“Mental health services for young are biggest NHS failing.”
Mr. Hunt has also advised that schools should work more closely with Child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) teams and there should be more counselors on school premises.
A secondary schools counselor for 14 years, Catrina Goundry, expressed her worries to the Guardian, about the state of young people’s mental health. According to her:
Child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) have suffered budget cuts of £85m since 2010
Camhs is now not fit for purpose and many other support agencies are no longer in existence
A quarter of children referred for specialist mental health treatment do not receive a service, according to the children’s commissioner for England
These above, have affected children’s education and mental wellbeing and will put even more burden on adult mental health services
Schools are cutting counseling services due to severe budget cuts
Pupils cannot be referred to Camhs as the waiting list has become longer and the threshold of referral raised
Jeremy Hunt should look at the issues behind children’s mental health rather than overburdening schools, the NHS and counseling professions when mental health reaches crisis point
The importance of supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing cannot be overemphasised and many schools have acknowledged this. For example,UK’s only regional network of schools, Schools North East, has recently launched their schools led mental health commission chaired by Professor Sue bailey.
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Jaqui Smith - Young Womens Housing Project