According to the NSPCC, more than a fifth of children in England who are being referred to mental health services have been refused treatment.
40,000 youngsters have been turned away for not meeting the criteria despite some of these cases being stemmed from abuse. The charity has raised concerns that the requirements for getting access to treatment is far too strict in some areas and fears that a time bomb of serious mental health conditions is being created.
Sadly, the reason why the criteria is often so strict is because mental health services simply do not have the capacity to take on any more cases. The NSPCC has said that their ChildLine alone receives nearly 100 calls a week from children who have been abused and whose mental health and wellbeing is suffering as a consequence. A separate report carried out by the charity last year found that the number of sexual offences against children recorded by the police in England and Wales was up by more than a third.
As well as being affected by abuse, the other most common reasons children or their parents seek help is because of violent behaviour, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, obsessions, self-harm, PTSD and even bipolar and schizophrenia.
A spokesman for NHS England commented:
“We do need, as a country, to better understand the underlying causes of why it is that children and adolescents’ mental health problems seem to be on the rise.”
The Chief Executive of the NSPCC, Peter Wanless continued:
“There is a vacuum that needs to be filled and it needs to be a national and local priority.”
If you think that you or your child could be suffering with a mental health condition, please feel free to visit our Depression and Anxiety Treatment Programmes page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments available.