We must reverse trend of paring back vital prevention and support services to address rising CAMHS demand
01 July 2019
- The Local Government Association (LGA) publishes an analysis on social services and child mental health cases.
- It finds that in 2017/18 there were 205,720 cases where a child was identified as having a mental health issue – up 54% from the previous year.
- At the same time, public health services have seen cuts of £700 million to their budgets over five years.
The deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:
“These findings show the mismatch between the growing demand for mental health services for children and young adults and the strain on funding and staffing these vital services face.
“We know that many young people and children are waiting too long for mental health treatment. CAMHS services are already overstretched and face severe workforce challenges, so it is worrying that local councils continue to see severe cuts to budgets which support key prevention, public health and early support services.
We urgently need to reverse the trend of paring back or stopping these vital services which often result in referrals for treatment being delayed.
“Mental health trust leaders told us in our report Mental health services: Addressing the care deficit that a key driver of demand for services were the cuts made to preventative approaches and early intervention services which make them less available.
“We urgently need to reverse the trend of paring back or stopping these vital services which often result in referrals for treatment being delayed. This is damaging for some of the most vulnerable people and risks storing up more serious problems later on, adding to pressures on already overstretched services.”