According to a new report on youth mental health, children can wait more than three years to be assessed and then up to two years to finally receive treatment.
Sarah Brennan, the Chief Executive of charity, Young Minds commented:
“Children’s and adolescent mental health services are creaking at the seams as they are being hit with increased referrals at the same time as cutbacks to their services.”
The report found that the number of children being referred for mental health support increased by more than 6% between 2013 and 2014. Due to this increase, in some cases children have had to travel hundreds of miles to get the help they require thanks to a lack of beds.
Following the recent Budget 2015 announcement, it has been announced that the government is investing £1.25 billion in a bid to improve the care available to young children. One of the main priorities is to deliver a maximum waiting time of 18 weeks for treatment.
Prior to the Budget announcement, NHS spending for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) fell in England by a whopping £50 million since 2010. Additionally to this, over half of councils have had no choice but to cut their since CAMHS budgets. In some areas such as Birmingham, budgets fell by an unbelievable 94%.
Figures show that the problem doesn’t get much better the older children get as university counselling services have faced the squeeze. Staff have been cut, posts have been frozen and the services on offer simply cannot cope with the rising demand from students. In fact, many university medical centres have closed and funding for GP practices with student-heavy populations is under threat.
If you have a child you would like treatment for or you would like help yourself, please visit our Treatment for Teenagers page for more information.