Head teachers across the UK have revealed that thanks to service shortages they are being forced to call 999 to get treatment for pupils who are suffering from mental health problems. As well as this, some schools are even being asked to pay for services for troubled pupils that should be provided by the NHS or social services.
Teachers, heads and bodies representing counsellors and therapists have all complained of significant problems when it comes to securing support for pupils’ mental health problems and special education needs.
They have asserted that local mental health services are no longer able to offer early support as it’s too difficult to get hold of the right professional to deal with a child’s special education need. Furthermore, teachers also reported that schools are having to pay for health staff to attend meetings or perform assessments of their special needs.
The Association of School and College Leaders also said that even in situations where a child needs immediate support due to being a risk to themselves or others, Camhs (child adolescent and mental health services) may not be available. This means that schools and colleges are sometimes forced to either call the police or send the child or young person to A&E just to ensure that they get seen by a properly trained mental health worker.
A government spokesperson has said that despite the current difficulties, mental health is a priority and that £1.4bn is going to be invested in services for young people over the next five years. They have said this will mean they can provide better care much sooner so that schools aren’t forced to contact the emergency services to get the support they need.
If you think that your child could be facing mental health difficulties, please feel free to contact Life Works in the strictest of confidence and we will be more than happy to help.