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BBC NEWS REPORT SAYS:

SPENDING ON CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES – SUCH AS SCHOOL COUNSELLORS AND DROP-IN CENTRES HAS FALLEN IN REAL TERMS IN MORE THAN A THIRD OF AREAS IN ENGLAND, A REPORT SHOWS.

 

The study, by the Children’s Commissioner, found spending had risen by 17% overall but many children faced a “postcode lottery” of provision.

Anne Longfield said the figures were “extremely worrying”.

Officials said investing in these services was a priority.

‘BEFORE CRISIS POINT’

The report looked at spending on so-called “low level” mental health services – designed to prevent or treat problems such as depression, eating disorders or anxiety – preventing the need for intensive, specialist intervention.

In general, half the funding comes from the NHS and half from local authorities. The report found that very high-spending areas were masking a larger proportion of low-spending areas, and that wide variation existed across the country.

According to the report:

  • Around £226m was spent on low-level children’s mental health services in 2018-19 – an increase of 17% in real terms (taking inflation into account) on the previous year
  • While the top quarter of local areas spent £1.1m or more over the financial year, the bottom 25% spent £177,000 or less
  • 58% of areas reported a real-term increase in spending between 2018-19
  • But 37% saw a real-term fall – often driven by a reduction in local authority spending
  • In London, local authority spending was £17.88 per child compared with £5.32 in the East of England

Ms Longfield said: “This report reveals for the first time the postcode lottery facing the increasing number of children suffering from low-level mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

“The children I speak to who are suffering from conditions like anxiety or depression aren’t asking for intensive inpatient therapeutic treatment, they just want to be able to talk to a counsellor about their worries and to be offered advice on how to stop their problems turning into a crisis.”

We support children and young people with their mental health and wellbeing

We know that one in ten children have a diagnosable mental health condition – that’s roughly three children in every classroom.

It can be tough growing up. Many thousands of young people go through periods of mental ill-health. When this happens, it can be difficult for them to make and keep friends, manage at school and feel good about themselves. It can also be bewildering for their families.

Many children may not be diagnosed as having mental health issues, but lack confidence and feel unhappy much of the time.

No child should be left to cope with mental ill-health alone. We are here for children and young people when they need us to listen to them, support them, counsel them, guide them and nurture them.

This was before the outbreak of COVID 19


Key Facts

Data is for England, July 2020.

Rates of probable mental disorders have increased since 2017. In 2020, one in six (16.0%) children aged 5 to 16 years were identified as having a probable mental disorder, increasing from one in nine (10.8%) in 2017.  The increase was evident in both boys and girls

The likelihood of a probable mental disorder increased with age with a noticeable difference in gender for the older age group (17 to 22 years); 27.2% of young women and 13.3% of young men were identified as having a probable mental disorder

Among 11 to 16 year old girls, 63.8% with a probable mental disorder had seen or heard an argument among adults in the household, compared with 46.8% of those unlikely to have a mental disorder

Among those aged 5 to 22 years, 58.9% with a probable mental disorder reported having sleep problems. Young people aged 17 to 22 years with a probable mental disorder were more likely to report sleep problems (69.6%), than those aged 11 to 16 (50.5%) and 5 to 10 (52.5%)

About six in ten (62.6%) children aged 5 to 16 years with a probable mental disorder had regular support from their school or college, compared with 76.4% of children unlikely to have a mental disorder

Children aged 5 to 16 years with a probable mental disorder were more than twice as likely to live in a household that had fallen behind with payments (16.3%), than children unlikely to have a mental disorder (6.4%)

Children and young people with a probable mental disorder were more likely to say that lockdown had made their life worse (54.1% of 11 to 16 year olds, and 59.0% of 17 to 22 year olds), than those unlikely to have a mental disorder (39.2% and 37.3% respectively)

HOW WE HELP

Anxious Minds believe in early intervention, before a child or young persons mental health becomes a problem. We run many services supporting young people’s emotional health and wellbeing, from one-to-one counselling to group work.

We have centres where children and young people can visit and have trained workers they can trust and talk to. We help them build their confidence and get to the root of their difficulties. We work closely with children and young people’s parents – making sure they feel supported too. We also stay in close contact with other professionals giving the best support possible.

£30 Pays for a counselling session

£50 Pays for a Support Group on Anxiety

£100 Pays for Support For a Child to Stop Self-Harming

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