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Midweek Mindset

UKCP responds to NHS Digital data on children and young people’s mental health

November 22, 2018

Responding to today’s release of official statistics regarding the prevalence of mental health issues among children and young people in England, UKCP Chief Executive Prof Sarah Niblock said:

‘Children’s mental health services have long been critically underfunded – the real “Cinderella” of the NHS. Today’s prevalence figures reinforce just how scandalous this oversight has been.

‘The government’s recent commitments to provide additional funding are certainly welcome, and show it is now rightly placing emphasis on this crucial issue. However, as the Children’s Commissioner has highlighted today, it is hard to see how the government’s plans will provide the seismic shift required to match demand.

‘We also still don’t know who will make up the workforce tasked with achieving the stated aim of “transforming children and young people’s mental health provision.” Based on recent history, practitioners working with children are justifiably worried that a trend of down-skilling the mental health workforce will continue.

‘Given the scale of need demonstrated by today’s figures, it is clearly important that the government provides for as many children as possible. However, this cannot come at the cost of the quality of provision. It is simply vital that a proper range of treatments are available to children in need – including highly specialised interventions for highly complex cases. And there is a workforce of highly regulated and qualified therapists ready to carry out this work.

‘We urge the government to keep this firmly in mind moving forward, to ensure that the much-needed investment in our children leaves no one behind.’