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Mental health services for children and adolescents

View profile for Laura Curtis
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The Children’s and Adolescents mental health services have received a lot of press recently following a report published which indicates that there are serious issues with the commissioning and provisions within the system.

Some of the points raised in the report highlight the safety of children and young people whilst waiting for available beds within units, as well as the locations of these beds once they have been found.

Although early intervention is being encouraged, as these services reduce the need for higher tier care, in many areas across the Country funding is being reduced or cut altogether, resulting in many children and young people being unable to receive this service.

Budgets across the mental health services for children and adolescents have either been frozen or reduced, which is causing issues as it has been highlighted that the demand for mental health services for children and adolescents is rising.

It has been recommended that OFSTED, DFE and NHS England carry out a full audit of the educational provision as concerns have been raised in relation to the quality of education being received whilst children and young people are being treated in the units.

The above are a small example of concerns that have been raised. To read the full report and recommendations, click here.

Quick Facts Section –

  • During childhood and teenage years the common mental health disorders include –

    • Autism

    • Asperger syndrome

    • Behavioural problems

    • Obsessive compulsive disorder

    • Psychotic disorder

    • Substance abuse

  • These disorders affect 10-20% of children and young people

  • CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

  • You require a referral to CAMHS and the most common way is via your child’s GP. Social workers, teachers, school nurses or health visitors can also make referrals.

  • There are several websites and forums that can provide further information and support such as and