Monday, October 15, 2018

Children are facing catastrophically long waits for mental health support

Children are facing catastrophically long waits for mental health support

Worrying new figures show that far too many children are facing unacceptable waiting times for the mental health support they desperately need. Speed is critical when dealing with mental health conditions, but children and young people are facing an average wait of 60 days before receiving any treatment. The report by the Education Policy Institute found that the longest wait for treatment in England last year was 188 days. Average waiting times for young people are currently twice as long as the Government’s newly proposed standard of four weeks. The study found that it took an average of 34 days for children to receive an initial consultation, and almost double that before they actually got any treatment. Experts suggest that long waits, on top of pre-existing mental health problems, can cause significant damage and make it harder for a child to recover. Therapist at Welldoing, Pat Capel, explains why it’s important to act quickly when it comes to children. ‘We all know that the earlier we notice and treat mental health, the better the long term prognosis,’ Pat tells Metro.co.uk. ‘By denying children and adolescents quick access to efficient mental health services, we are potentially condemning them to a very difficult adult life. ‘Untreated mental health in children can result in them, as adults, finding it difficult to access meaningful employment or to form meaningful relationships. ‘This will lead to further instability and place an even bigger burden on society. We owe it to the youth to look after their future.’ These delays are particularly concerning as the number of children being referred to mental health services grows. Referrals have increased by 26% over the past five years, and the waiting times suggest that services are feeling the strain. Rejection rates are also high, with one in four children turned away from mental health services altogether. Most of these rejections happen because the authorities decide that a child’s condition is not serious enough to warrant special treatment. The study shows that almost 56,000 children were rejected from mental health services last year alone. One of these children was 13-year-old Kieran. Kieran was diagnosed with autism because of social and behavioural problems, but getting the treatment he needs has been an ongoing battle, and much of the burden falls on his mum Kristine.




Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/10/10/children-are-facing-catastrophically-long-waits-for-mental-health-support-8021284/?ito=cbshare







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