The Royal Colleges of GPs (RCGP), Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), and Psychiatrists (RCPsych) have committed to five shared principles that they hope will lead to tangible actions to improve the care and support of children and young people (CYP) with mental health problems.
The three Colleges say that as well as the commissioning of specialist treatment, an effective CYP mental health system requires:
- Acknowledgment that CYP mental health is everybody’s business, and should be supported by a shared vision for CYP mental health across all government departments, particularly health, education and justice.
- A preventative, multi-agency approach to mental health across all ages, incorporating attention to education for young people and families, social determinants, and health promotion. This should focus on public mental health and early intervention in CYP, including minimising the need for admission and effective crisis services to maintain CYP in their homes.
- A system of national and local accountability for population-level CYP mental health and well-being, delivered via integrated local area systems.
- Training and education for the whole children’s workforce in their role and responsibilities for CYP mental health.
- More support, both from specialist services and other sectors, for professionals dealing with CYP who do not meet referral threshold to a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
Following the development of the joint principles, the three Colleges have committed to a number of ongoing actions. These include ensuring the highest quality training and standards in CYP mental health; supporting the development of evidence based models of care that are focused on integration of care; and calling for greater investment and resources to be focused on developing services in CYP friendly settings that promote early intervention and resilience.
Read the full statement here