This policy focuses on the second part of the manifesto quote – providing local mental health services for children. For the “appropriate timeframe” policy, see below.
In September 2018, 286,221 people aged under 19 were in contact with mental health services. At the same time, there are workforce shortages in mental health services for young people. This means some young people have to travel hundreds of miles to receive treatment far from their home, family and friends. The Children’s Commissioner estimates that in 2018, 1 in 7 children aged over 16 who were in care experienced multiple placement moves. The government has promised to reform Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services so that no child has to leave their local area to receive normal treatment.
In June 2017, shortly after the general election, the National Health Service announced that 11 new sites would take part in a pilot to test new approaches to mental health intended to cut the number of patients travelling long distances for care.
In July 2018, the government published its response to a green paper consultation on children and young people’s mental health provision, revealing that it will roll out a new “trailblazer” pilot project using locally based Mental Health Support Teams.
The government and the NHS are testing new measures to reduce out-of-area treatment for children in need of mental health services, so this policy is ‘in progress’. It will be ‘done’ when the measures are rolled out nationally and there is evidence that children are no longer having to leave their local area to receive treatment. Follow this policy for updates.
Still curious? Dig deeper
- Mental Health Services Monthly Statistics – Final September, Provisional October 2018 – NHS Digital
- Progress and challenges in the transformation of young people’s mental health care – Education Policy Institute
- Stability Index 2018 – Children’s Commissioner
- Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) – NHS
- NHS England announces new sites to redesign mental health services and cut out of area placements – NHS England
- Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision: a green paper – Gov.uk
- Nearly a quarter of 14-year-old girls in UK ‘self-harming’, charity reports – NHS
- Over 1 million children are being let down by inadequate local mental health plans – National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
- Green Paper on Child Mental Health lacks ambition – Health and Social Care Committee
- Improving children and young people’s mental health services – National Audit Office