Child mental health services 'not good enough'2nd February 2011
Concerns have been raised over the future of child mental health services in England.
Campaigners fear the drive to improve services may be affected by cuts facing the health service.
A £400m mental health strategy has been unveiled by ministers, including plans to improve access to counselling for children.
However, charities remain concerned the plans could be hit by the cuts.
While there have been improvements in adult mental health services over the last 10 years, the record has not been the same for children and adolescent mental health services where provision has been patchy, with reports of long waiting lists.
Lucie Russell from the charity Young Minds said it was refreshing to see children’s services being included in the strategy but cuts in sure start centres, school-based counselling support and voluntary sector projects threatened to undermine the plans.
She said: “Turning the strategy from rhetoric to reality will be challenging in the context of deep cuts to children's services which will threaten its success.”
Future Vision Coalition, which is an umbrella group of mental health charities, agreed the economic situation was worrying.
Co-chairman Andy Bell said: “The development of child services has lagged behind adults for years so it is important improvements are made.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he hoped the strategy would help get talking therapies to children “before their problems become problems of a lifetime.”
The Royal College of Psychiatrists said there was still a long way to go for mental health patients to receive a satisfactory standard of care and treatment throughout England.
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Title: Child mental health services 'not good enough'
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 17423
Date Added: 2nd Feb 2011