According to figures obtained by the NSPCC, the number of schools seeking professional help for students was 34,757 in 2017-18 (up 38% on 2014-5). In almost one-third of referrals where data was available, the child was denied specialist help from CAMHS (NHS child and adolescent mental health services treatment).
In the cases where referral is accepted, waiting times are long. The government has pledged to introduce four-week maximum waiting times for CAMHS but they will only apply to up to a quarter of England by 2022-23.
No-one is suggesting that every referral should be accepted. However, the NSPCC believes that under-resourcing certainly plays a role, with services like Childline forced to fill the void. Childline reported a 26% increase in the number of counselling sessions with children about mental health issues over the past four years, with some callers reporting that they reached “crisis point” before they received specialist support.
The Government has earmarked an additional £300 million to provide quicker support to children. It plans to use the money to expand its NHS link pilot scheme to 20 more areas of the country, improving links between up to 1,200 more schools and their local specialist mental health service. However, this amounts to just under 5% of the total state schools in the UK.
Whitehall Training has just published, Mental Health Awareness, which describes the most commonly encountered mental health issues, plus their symptoms, causes and treatment regimes.
Read more [here]