‘Alarming’ number of young people visiting A&E for their mental health
October 26, 2018
By: Jenna Rachid
The Department of Health and Social Care revealed that in 2017-18 there were 27,487 visits to A&E by young people aged 18 or under ‘with a recorded first diagnosis of psychiatric conditions.’ This is almost double that of 2012-13, where there were 13,800 young people presenting at A&E.
The chief executive of mental health charity YoungMinds, Emma Thomas, said: ‘It is alarming that there has been such a sharp rise in young people arriving in A&E needing support for their mental health.’
A survey by Young Minds of 1,531 parents regarding their children found that 61% believed the care their child received in a crisis situation was either ‘bad’ or ‘unacceptable’.
‘One of the main reasons that crisis services are overstretched is that young people who are struggling don’t get help soon enough, which means that problems often escalate. We often hear from young people who’ve gone to A&E because they don’t know where else to turn,’ Thomas added.
Young Minds is now calling for dedicated safe havens for people to receive mental health support, which they hope will stop the cycle of young people visiting A&E in crisis situations.
Many young people in London are having to cope with mental health problems on their own, theBBC reports.
Statistics show that the average wait time in London to access mental health care is 64 days, over triple the target.
‘It’s like you’re being forced into a corner and you just don’t see a way out,’ says Ruth Fox, 14. Fox was unable to access help for nine months after she was diagnosed with severe depression.
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