LGA responds to warning over children’s mental health care

“Mental health needs to be at the heart of a holistic approach to overall health and wellbeing, including investment in community-based services, such as youth services. Health and wellbeing should be intrinsically linked to a child-led education recovery plan."


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Responding to a report by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition that mental health support services for children and young people are unable to keep up with demand, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:

“The pandemic has exacerbated existing mental health issues among children and young people, with the number of people referred to mental health services soaring by 134 per cent between April and June alone this year. But even before this, the number of children referred to mental health services increased by nearly 60 per cent between 2017/18 and 2019/20.

“The Children’s Commissioner’s predicts that damage to children’s health caused by COVID-19 could last for years without a large-scale funding increase for children’s mental health services. We echo these concerns.

“Mental health needs to be at the heart of a holistic approach to overall health and wellbeing, including investment in community-based services, such as youth services. Health and wellbeing should be intrinsically linked to a child-led education recovery plan.

“It is vital that effective and evidence-based mental health and wellbeing services and statutory mental health services for children are able to meet existing, new and unmet demand that has built up during the pandemic to support children and young people to thrive and overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19.”

Notes to Editors

  • More than 190,000 patients under the age of 18 were referred to children and young people's mental health services between April and June this year - up 134 per cent on the same period last year, according to analysis of official figures by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.