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Child mental health green paper is a missed opportunity

05 March 2018

Early support and treatment is vital for young people experiencing mental health difficulties says the Society’s response to the consultation on the Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision green paper.

If more emphasis were placed on preventative measures it would have the positive effect of fewer children developing mental health issues and therefore there would be less demand on primary and specialist services, allowing the early intervention and quick access of those who need them. 

Because the green paper does not focus on prevention and the wider social and political determinants of mental health, says the Society, it represents a missed opportunity. 

The Society calls for an ambitious and radical programme of prevention and early intervention which ensures all children have good mental health and wellbeing.

This should include prevention through maternity and perinatal services, early years’ services, children’s services, family support, educational psychologists, school nurses and other services for children with special educational needs and disabilities and looked after children, such as Family Nurse Partnerships, Child First, Incredible Years and Triple-P Pathways.

The response also calls on the government to:

  • Reinstate the robust, professional educational psychology early-intervention services for all children. This would enable appropriate and thorough assessment of the child’s needs and the identification of appropriate interventions and other forms of support which could have a sustained, positive benefit.
  • Consider the more radical approach of having applied psychologists, both educational and clinical psychologists, working more directly in schools.  This professionally trained workforce would be the most suitably qualified and able to guide preventative and reactive measures.
  • Consider the establishment of a county steering group and link to the Clinical Commissioning Groups for guidance and to resolve specific matters.
  • Develop evidence-based policy that addresses adverse childhood experiences. This will go a long way in promoting and maintaining good mental health and wellbeing.
  • Prioritise children and young people in vulnerable groups to be prioritised for improved access to CAMHS.

Click here to read the full Society response.


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