05 December 2017
The British Psychological Society welcomes the publication of the government's green paper 'Transforming children and young People’s mental health provision'.
The green paper sets out the ways in which the government aims to support local areas to adopt a new collaborative approach to tackle the early signs of mental health issues and improve mental health support for children and young people in England.
The government has said it wants to put “schools and colleges at the heart of our efforts to intervene early and prevent problems escalating”. However, the Society fears that this is too little, too late and falls a long way short of achieving parity of esteem for mental health.
Whilst the Government has committed to £300m in new money to support services for children and young people with mental health issues, that the key proposals outlined in the Green Paper – including Designated Senior Leads for mental health in schools, creating Mental Health Support Teams and reducing waiting times – will not be rolled out until the end of 2022/23 and only to at least a fifth to a quarter of the country is a considerable concern at a time of unprecedented numbers of CYP experiencing mental health conditions.
Dr Lisa Morrison Coulthard, Acting Director of Policy said
“We believe that early intervention and prevention services are the best way to stop mental health issues from escalating into more serious conditions. It is vital for children to have early access to fully trained professionals when they need assessment and treatment.
“Cuts in child and adolescent mental health services, local authority and school budgets have had a damaging effect on the services which support children who are struggling with mental health conditions. This is particularly concerning in the context of the latest research findings from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation showing that the numbers of children living in poverty is rising”.
A full response to the green paper will be prepared by the Society. Members wishing to contribute should contact Joe Liardet, Policy Administrator (Consultations).