Access to child and adolescent mental health services

A review of access to mental health services by the Children’s Commissioner highlights the long waiting lists and restricted access for those with life-threatening conditions.

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Data from public bodies shows that 28% of children referred for specialist mental health treatment in 2015 did not receive a service. A significant proportion of children with life-threatening mental health conditions – 14%  of the 3,000 covered by the data – were denied specialist support. These included children who had attempted suicide or serious self-harm and those with psychosis and anorexia nervosa.


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