Children and young people’s mental health

The House of Commons Education and Health Committees have jointly published Children and young people’s mental health: the role of education.

The Committees found that financial pressures are restricting the provision of mental health services in schools and colleges.  It calls on the Government to commit sufficient resource to ensure effective services are established in all parts of the country.  It also calls for strong partnerships between the education sector and mental health services.

What can be done to tackle the youth mental health treatment gap?

Too few children and young people are getting the care they need. A new commission at Birmingham university aims to address the problem | The Guardian

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By 2020 one in three teenagers will have access to cancer treatment in England. Think about that: only one in three. There would be an outcry. It would be scandalous, horrifying, unacceptable.

It is not true, however. Unless you delete the word “cancer” and insert “mental health”, and then it is.

In medical terms, there is a treatment gap. The number of children and young people living with a diagnosable mental illness far exceeds the number who get any help. One in 10 children suffer a diagnosable mental illness, yet just one in four of them receive treatment. By 2020 the gap may close, a little, if plans in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View for Mental Health are realised, but only a little.

Read the full news story here

Library cuts harm young people’s mental health services

Professional body Cilip highlights work helping troubled youngsters and warns that reduced funding will shunt problems on to NHS and police | via The Guardian

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Public libraries’ significant role supporting the mental health of young people risks being undermined by swingeing budget cuts forced on local authorities, the head of their professional body warned this week. He added that, if funding is not protected, the work of libraries as frontline information resources for young people in need will be pushed on to the already overstretched police, health and social services.

It is estimated that one in 10 UK children experience mental health problems, as do one in four adults. Nick Poole, head of the Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals (Cilip),  told the Guardian that cuts to local library services would “continue to bite the availability of dedicated resources such as advice on anxiety, stress, exams and bullying”. He warned: “Under-investing in our libraries simply pushes costs elsewhere and means that a young person growing up today has less help and is more vulnerable to the impact of mental health problems on their life.”

Read more at The Guardian

Children’s Mental Health Funding Not Going Where it Should

YoungMinds analysis reveals that many local health bodies are diverting some of the new funding received for children’s mental health services to other priorities.

In 2015, the government pledged an extra £1.4 billion over five years to “transform” Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Research undertaken by YoungMinds into the responses of 199 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) from Freedom of Information requests has revealed that:

  • Fewer than half of the CCGs who responded were able to provide full information about their CAMHS budgets. If CAMHS services are to improve, there needs to be far greater accountability about where money is being spent.
  • In the first year of extra funding (2015-16), only 36% of CCGs who responded increased their CAMHS spend to reflect their additional government funds. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of CCGs used some or all of the extra money to backfill cuts or to spend on other priorities.
  • In the second year of extra funding (2016-17), only half of CCGs (50%) who responded increased their CAMHS spend to reflect their additional government funds. The other half (50%) are using some or all of the extra money for other priorities.

Read the full news story here

Improving the mental health of children and young people

Reports to support commissioners in improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. | Public Health England

These reports describe the importance of mental health and wellbeing among children and young people and the case for investment in mental health. They also summarise the evidence of what works to improve mental health among children and young people in order to inform local transformation of services.

The mental health of children and young people in England

The mental health of children and young people in London

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Image source: http://www.gov.uk

Funding child and adolescent mental health services

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has published information and an interactive map which highlights the variations on the planned spend on children and adolescent mental health services by CCGs across the country during the period 2016/2017.

The Government has pledged to invest in child and adolescent mental health services, with £119 million of NHS funding allocated to clinical commissioning groups for this financial year and another £140 million promised for 2017/18, with an additional £30 million for eating disorder services.

Click on the map below and see spend in your area:

Calls for new Prime Minister’s Challenge on children’s mental health

Education Policy Institute | Published online: November 2016

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Image source: EPI

The Education Policy Institute has identified that specialist mental health services are, on average, turning away 23 per cent, or almost one in four, children and young people referred to them for treatment by their teachers or GPs. We also identified a postcode lottery of waiting times for those whose referrals were accepted.

The Institute’s investigation into progress and challenges in the transformation of children and young people’s mental health care has found wide variation in the quality of local strategies. Under our scoring system, only 15 per cent of local areas were found to have ‘good’ plans. We also identified significant barriers to progress. For example, 8 out of 10 providers face recruitment difficulties, and there has been an 80 per cent increase in expenditure on temporary staffing in the last two years.

Read an overview here

Read the full report here