Laura Sharman 30 January 2020

'Chasm' exists in children's mental health services, Commissioner warns

Chasm exists in childrens mental health services, Commissioner warns image

There is a ‘chasm’ between what mental health services children need and what is available, the Children’s Commissioner for England has warned today.

In a new report, she finds there has been some improvements in services such as more children accessing services and increased funding.

However, the third annual briefing - The state of children’s mental health services – shows that current system is still failing to meet the needs of all children with mental health problems.

It found most areas are spending less than 1% of their budget on children’s mental health services, with children facing a postcode lottery of care.

Ms Longfield said: ‘There has been welcome progress on children’s mental health services over the last couple of years, and more progress is promised over the next few years. Nevertheless, there is still a chasm between what children need and what is being provided.

‘More children are seeking help for their mental health and the Government need to make sure that help is available. We are still a decade away from a decent mental health service for all children.

‘It is still not clear whether national and local government and the NHS is facing up to the scale of problems in children’s mental health services and the devastating impact this has on children. The Government doesn’t have a plan for a comprehensive service in every area and there is still no commitment to a counsellor in every school, which would make a huge difference.’

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