We hear from children all the time who tell us they are having difficulties accessing mental health services, with referrals only made when a child is at crisis point. They also talk about the lack of information available for them online; a sign of a service not designed around user needs. We are continuing our work to drive transparency in terms of NHS spending and provision for children and advocate for children’s mental health to be a priority locally and nationally.
When speaking with children to inform the 2020/21 business plan, feeling stressed emerged as a common theme among the challenges that children were facing. Part of the consultation for the business plan included asking 1,924 children in December 2019 what they worry about. Feeling stressed and/or sad was the most common choice, with 33% choosing this as one of their top three worries.
This year’s briefing shows that while the NHS has made tangible progress in the provision of mental health services for children, the current system is still far away from adequately meeting the needs of all of the estimated 12.8% of children in England with mental health problems – or the many more children who fall just below the threshold for clinical diagnosis. The Children’s Commissioner welcomes the significant progress made to CYPMHS, but warns that a chasm remains between the current levels of NHS services and what children need.
2018/19 Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) levels of five key indicators used to assess children’s mental health services
This report illustrates the findings of a data collection exercise to understand spending on low-level mental health services across England.