Children and Young People Now reports that Young Minds wants all political parties to commit to investing in additional and sustained funding for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), as well as ensure schools effectively support pupils’ emotional wellbeing and mental health.
It also wants tougher checks on local clinical commissioning groups, to ensure they are spending an extra £1.4bn allocated for CAMHS until 2020 on its intended target. Last December the charity revealed that some CCGs have “siphoned off” the additional cash to backfill cuts and fund other services.
In addition, Young Minds wants to see a further £250m to £300m a year spent on CAMHS between 2020 and 2023. Legislation to ensure schools and Ofsted inspectors prioritise mental health support and that the issue is included in teacher training are among other measures being called for.
“Right now, far too many vulnerable young people are waiting months for specialist mental health treatment, or being turned away because their problems aren’t considered serious enough – even if they are self-harming or feeling suicidal,” the charity’s chief executive Sarah Brennan said.
Young Minds also wants politicians to protect the rights of children in mental health hospitals through a charter, after a survey by the charity found that only 43 per cent of parents think their child’s mental health has improved through in-patient care.
The charity also wants young people with mental health problems to be given a greater say in their care.
Yesterday, Labour said that additional funding for child and adolescent mental health services and a commitment to counselling provision in every school would form part of drive to improve child health.
Meanwhile, the Conservatives have said all primary and secondary schools in England will be provided with mental health first aid training for staff.
Shouldn’t mental health now be seen as an investment for the future rather than a cost to the present? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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