£32m for child psychological therapy

Carole Allan, the President of the British Psychological Society’ has welcomed the news that the government is to spend £32m on psychological therapies for children and young people with mental health problems.

She says: “We welcome this investment in evidence-based therapies on behalf of the young people who will benefit from them. It is important that these plans are put into practice by properly qualified and regulated professionals.”

One in 10 children aged 5-16 years has a clinically diagnosable mental health problem says the Department of Health. And at any one time, more than a million children will have a diagnosable mental health disorder and mental illness in childhood and adolescence costs up to £59,000 per child every year.

Announcing the plans, the health minister Paul Burstow said: We’re breaking new ground with this investment in children’s mental health.  We’re working with young people and staff to start to change the way mental health is delivered by the NHS.

“Half of those with mental health problems first experience symptoms by the age of 14, and three quarters before their mid-20s. This pioneering work will focus on early and effective treatment.

“We know psychological therapies work. Our aim is to transform existing mental health services for children so our children get the best treatment possible, from services that are more responsive to their needs.”