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Lack of talking therapies funding for young people

6th October 2011

The lack of funding dedicated to talking therapies for young people in the UK has been condemned by mental health professionals.

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They want more money to be made available to children and young people through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme.

Steve Shrubb, director of the Mental Health Network at the NHS Confederation, questioned why only £8m of the £400m IAPT programme funding has been allocated to developing children’s services.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, he said: “The only new money made available by government in mental health is this £400m and yet only £8m has been allocated to children.

“Not only that, but the £8m is targeted at the redesign of existing services rather than setting up evidence-based therapies for anxiety and depression, which young people are very clear they want.

“I feel that not doing that flies in the face of all the evidence and the commitment to design services for young people.”

His views were supported by Mind chief executive Paul Farmer who said that it was “shocking” that there needed to be extra money to fund this as it was an “evidence-based therapy that should be delivered already.”

The Youth Access organisation argued that commissioners needed to change their approach to mental health services for young people.

Conservative MP Daniel Poulter, who is a member of the health select committee, said that funding for children’s IAPT must not be seen in isolation to the rest of the scheme.

 

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