Overhaul of youth mental health care planned

Dramatic changes to mental health care for young people are announced today as Labour warns that children are not getting the care they need.

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Call for more action on young people's mental health care

A government taskforce has recommended a complete overhaul of mental health care for young people .

The Care Minister Norman Lamb says thousands of youngsters are missing out on badly needed support. Mental health charities say with one in 10 young people affected - action is long overdue .

Labour: Children's mental health report 'watered down'

Labour has claimed that the Government has watered down a report into children's mental health and has omitted key details and criticisms.

Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said: “This Government has become so desperate to run from its NHS record that they are now removing damaging criticisms from official reports. It is outrageous behaviour from a Government to seek to silence expert critics.

Labour: Children's mental health report 'watered down'. Credit: PA

“They’ve left highly vulnerable children without the support they need and being shunted up and down the motorways in search of crisis beds. Many children have been left hundreds of miles from their home and families and that is a scandal that has got to end."

The children’s mental health budget has "fallen in real terms" over this Parliament and the NHS has "lost 3,300 specialist mental health nurses and 1,500 mental health beds," he said.

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Critics say mental health overhaul 'is still not enough'

The government has admitted children's mental health services in England need a complete overhaul, in the wake of a damning new report. It found too many young people are not getting the help they need and seeing increasing delays in treatment.

Ministers have set out a five year plan to improve care of the mentally ill, but critics say that is still not enough.

ITV News Health Editor Rachel Younger reports:

Youth mental health plans are 'long overdue'

The Government's plans to overhaul youth mental health services is "long overdue" according to a charity which supports young people.

The Children's Society said the funding announced should be ring fenced to ensure it reaches the young people who need support.

The Government’s plans to provide better support for children and young people affected by mental health issues is welcome – but long overdue. It is appalling that for so long children with mental health issues have sorely lacked support. A focus on early intervention in local communities, helping children and young people before they reach crisis point, is critical.

After years of mental health funding being cut, the Government’s cash boost is a step in the right direction. But the money must ring-fenced to make sure local services spend it effectively. We call on all political parties to promise to follow through with these plans after the election.

– Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society

Lamb: Waiting time standards needed for mental health

The care and support minister has said that waiting times standards in physical health, and not mental health, have left services struggling for funding.

Norman Lamb is announcing a blueprint to improve youth mental health services.

My total commitment is to introduce the same waiting time standards in mental health and critically including children and young people mental health.

so that every family knows they have a right to access treatment quickly. My family has been touched by mental health as many others have been.

– Norman Lamb

Youth mental health services to get £1.25bn boost

As part of an overhaul of youth mental health care funding of £1.25 billion will be provided over the next Parliament with the money starting to flow into services from next month, Norman Lamb has said.

NHS graph shows little increase in spending on youth mental health support up to last year. Credit: Department of Health

Some funding has already been confirmed, including:

  • £60 million into the Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme over 2011-15/16
  • £7 million in an extra 50 specialised Tier 4 beds for young patients in the areas with the least provision
  • £150 million over the next five years in England to improve services for children and young people with mental health problems, with a particular emphasis on eating disorders
  • £3 million in the Mind Ed e-portal launched in March 2014. The e-portal provides clear guidance on children and young people’s mental health, well being and development to any adult working with children, young people and families
  • NHS England is investing £15 million in health provision in the Children and Young People’s Secure Estate

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New plans to improve youth mental health care

The Government have unveiled their places to improves mental health support for young people.

A host of new measures are planed, including:

  • An anti-stigma campaign to improve awareness of youth mental health issues.
  • Young people to have access to timely support in every part of the country. Applying similar waiting times to mental as clinical health.
  • A one-stop-shop service to give children access to the right support.
  • Extra training for those who work with children, including GPs.
  • Support to continue past teenage years into the early 20s.
  • Improving access for children and young people who are particularly vulnerable.
  • Improved access to support using apps and other online tools.
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