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  1. ITV Report

Overhaul of youth mental health care announced

Changes to care for young people with mental health problems is to be announced by the Government today. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Changes to care for young people with mental health problems is to be announced by the Government today.

Care and support minister Norman Lamb said children and young people's mental health services need a complete overhaul to stop vulnerable young people missing out on vital support.

Children and young people face enormous challenges - from exam pressures and starting higher education or work, to relationships and peer pressure - and these can be intensified by constant exposure to social media.

I want to change the way we think about mental health care so that any child, whether they have a mental illness or simply need support through a difficult time, can get the right help at the right time.

There are some excellent examples of areas that have got this right with 'one-stop-shop' services in the community, information and support online via apps, and help for whole families. These plans set out how we can ensure no child is left struggling alone.

– Norman Lamb, Care and support minister

The Government has set out a blueprint for improving care over the next five years as a taskforce report is published into children and young people's mental health and well-being.

Labour said the report found the most vulnerable children have been left without the support they need.

Changes to care for young people with mental health problems is to be announced by the Government today. Credit: CLAUDIO BRESCIANI / SCANPIX/TT News Agency/Press Association Images

Proposals include developing a targeted campaign to tackle the stigma attached to mental health issues and to improve attitudes to mental illness. There will also be changes to the way services are commissioned.

Every area should have a "one-stop-shop" service for mental health support and advice to children and young people in the community. Youngsters will also have access to online tools and apps.

The current system is too fractured, too complex and too under-resourced. Without change it will continue to fail child after child and family after family.

We welcome the report of the taskforce but this has to be the start of a journey and not the end.

– Sarah Brennan, chief executive of charity YoungMinds

Plans for continued support seeing young people helped throughout their teenage years and into their 20s.

Improved care for children and young people in crisis to make sure no one under 18 and experiencing a mental health crisis is detained in a police cell is also a priority.

The report's authors found that David Cameron's NHS reorganisation created confusion and fragmentation which, when combined with funding cuts, left the most vulnerable children without the support they need.

This Tory-Lib Dem Government promised that physical and mental health services would be treated with the same importance but instead all we have seen is a £50 million cut to children's mental health services, a loss of 3,300 specialist mental health nurses and 1,500 mental health beds.

Twice as many children are turning to A&E because they are not getting the necessary mental health support and too many are sent hundreds of miles from home, held in police cells or put on adult wards because there is nowhere else for them to go.

This is completely unacceptable. Labour has a better plan to put mental health at the heart of our NHS by integrating mental health, physical health and social care into one service.

We will invest an extra £2.5 billion each year in the NHS, increase the proportion of the mental health budget spent on children and recruit 20,000 more nurses, including mental health specialists.

– Luciana Berger, Shadow public health minister

It comes as the Government announced that this week's Budget will include a £1.25 billion funding boost for young people's mental health care.