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More child therapists needed

5th May 2009

Lord Layard, a government adviser, has called for 1,000 more child therapists to be employed by the NHS in order to meet the increasing need for treatment.

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Lord Layard's previous advice encouraged a £173 million investment by the government into therapists for adults.

Lord Layard is emeritus professor of economics at the London School of Economics. He said around one in ten children have "diagnosable" mental health problems but only 25% of them had been seen by a therapist in the past year.

According to his report, therapists' training should start in 2010 and would cost £35 million. 200 therapists would need to receive training every year for five years.

The report added that these extra costs were not huge in comparison to the total NHS budget for mental health of £9.1 billion in 2006/07.

"We urge that this proposal be approved within the forthcoming comprehensive spending review and started, if possible, in October 2010," the report concluded.

A spokesperson from the Department of Health said they would be meeting with Lord Layard to talk about his recommendations.

Dr Tim Kendall, joint chairman of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, said funding training for more child therapists was much needed.

"I did a series of systematic reviews of cognitive behaviour therapy for all childhood disorders including depression, anxiety, ADHD, and there's no doubt that it is really useful and has a positive effect for kids," he said.

 

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Comments

jennifer francis

Thursday 4th June 2009 @ 22:06

I agree that more child therapists should be employed to work within not only hospital but educational settings. Funding has been made available for the employment of Low and High intensity psychological therapists for the adult services within PCTs across the bourough but I believe that by having child therapies involved at an early stage in a child's life would be beneficial not only to the child but also reduce the strain on services later on in life. Could the NHS not employ such a system for our young people.


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