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MIDWEEK MINDSET: Mental health services for young people is ‘silent catastrophe’ in NHS

Teenager alone on a park bench looking at a mobile phone

Publication date: June 27, 2018 Author: Jenna Rachid

Mental health services for young people is ‘silent catastrophe’ in NHS

A report by the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP) claims that failings in the treatment of young people and children is a ‘silent catastrophe’ within the NHS.

According to The Guardian, the report exposes  ‘a serious and worsening crisis’ with many failings found in the treatment of children and young people with mental health problems.

The ACP surveyed 416 child and adolescent child psychotherapists working with the NHS, and found that those most affected by underfunding and serious structural issues were young patients with severe and long-standing needs.

The report also found the ‘crisis’ was resulting in a rise in the level of suicides, self-referrals to A&E departments and pressure on in-patient units.

72% of frontline NHS staff working in child and adolescent health services (CAMHS) said the ‘threshold to access services has increased during the past five years’, whilst 33% described the services ‘as mostly or completely inadequate’.

‘Every day we get calls to our helpline from parents whose children have been waiting months for an appointment with CAMHS, or who have been turned down because the thresholds for treatment are so high. The system is overstretched and disjointed, with a devastating impact on thousands of families across the country,’ Dr Marc Bush, the head of policy at the charity YoungMinds, said.

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Britain leads first ever European conference on veterans’ mental health

Last Friday, the Minister for Defence, People and Veterans hosted Britain’s first European conference on veteran’s mental health in London.

In the first meeting of its kind, Tobias Ellwood hosted delegations from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

The discussion included six NATO countries, all seeking to find out how their nations can further mental health support to ensure that the mental health needs for those who have served are being met by their Government.

Latest figures show that rates of mental health problems amongst serving armed forces personnel remain slightly below those of the general population at 3.1% and 3.5% respectively.

The Ministry of Defence will reportedly spend up to £220 million over the next decade to improve the mental health services provided to serving personnel.

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University student suicide figures revealed for first time

Suicide rates among higher education students have been revealed for the first time.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal 95 suicides have been recorded among higher education students in England and Wales in the 12 months to July 2017.

The rising levels of suicide in young university students has been linked to the decreasing level and accessibility of mental health and counselling services provided.

According to the BBC, a report published last autumn found that over the past decade the number of students disclosing issues with their mental health was five times higher.

Chris Coombs attempted to take his own life at university 10 years ago. Speaking to the BBC, he said: ‘I became very isolated and started purposely isolating. Hygiene went out the window, personal care went out the window. The day-to-day routine thing didn’t happen. I stopped going to lectures, I didn’t answer emails, I didn’t open post and cut myself off because it was too much to deal with.’

Chris had counselling and opened up to friends to help with his depression.

‘When I compare how things were for me as a student over 10 years ago versus now that’s a profound shift in how universities and other organisations view mental health. It is much more important,’ he added.

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