Record number of Children referred for specialist care
More children and young people have been referred to the NHS for specialist services and care for mental health problems.
It is reported that some 409,347 children were cared for by the NHS for mental health related problems between April and October, last year.
The NHS has an implemented plan which “Sets out the priorities for expanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services over the next 10 years.”.
“Over 420,000 children and young people were treated through NHS-commissioned community services in 2020/21. This is approximately 39.6% of children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition, exceeding the target of 35%”.
The long term plan promises: “By 2023/24, at least an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 will be able to access support via NHS-funded mental health services, including through schools and colleges.”.
“Rates of probable mental disorders have increased since 2017; in 6 to 16 year olds from one one in nine (11.6%) to one in six (17.4%), and in 17 to 19 year olds from one in ten (10.1%) to one in six (17.4%). Rates in both age groups remained similar between 2020 and 2021.”.
There were 349,449 under-18s in touch with NHS child and adolescent psychiatric teams at the end of October 2021, which is reportedly the highest number on record.
The pandemic and numerous lockdowns have affected young peoples mental health, with many struggling to return to school and experiencing mental health related issues.
The government plans to have 400 mental health teams to support schools by 2023.
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