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The Government is investing £32 million in psychological therapies, including talking therapies, for children and young people with mental health problems, Care Services Minister Paul Burstow will announce today.

One in ten children aged 5-16 years has a clinically diagnosable mental health problem. At any one time, more than a million children will have a diagnosable mental health disorder and mental illness in childhood and adolescence costs up to £59,000 per child every year.

Giving children the right help early on can set them up for life - reducing the chance of them ending up in prison and making them more likely to get a job when they grow up.

Psychological therapies have been successful in helping adults to recover from anxiety and depression with many going back to work and living more functional lives. We know that children and young people have very different needs to adults, so we are taking the successful parts of the adult programme and adapting them for children and young people.

The Deputy Prime Minister said:

“This investment in children’s mental health is vital. Talking therapies are proven to work, and so we are expanding services to treat children and young people with the tailored care that they need.

“With one in ten children and young people suffering from a mental health problem, we cannot ignore the issue or hope that existing services for adults will work for children.

“Mental health must have the same priority as physical health. Giving children the treatment they need as soon as they need it will help ensure that millions of children suffering from a mental health problem will have a fairer opportunity to succeed in life.”

Paul Burstow said:

”We're breaking new ground with this investment in children's mental health. We're working with young people and staff to start to change the way mental health is delivered by the NHS.

“Half of those with mental health problems first experience symptoms by the age of 14, and three quarters before their mid-20s. This pioneering work will focus on early and effective treatment.

“We know psychological therapies work. Our aim is to transform existing mental health services for children so our children get the best treatment possible, from services that are more responsive to their needs.”

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said:

“Having a mental health problem at any point in your life can be a bewildering and frightening experience, but it is even more detrimental for children and young people because this is a key time in their social, emotional and educational development. It can have an impact on their future life chances and prospects. That’s why it’s really vital that health and education services work together and intervene early when problems first emerge. The extra funding for psychological therapies will help ensure that every child gets the support they need at the right time. Alongside this we are funding Young Minds to work with schools and parents of children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, and building capacity in voluntary and community organisations across the country to deliver early intervention mental health support to children and young people.”

Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:

“I welcome and applaud today’s announcement, both as President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and as a child psychiatrist working at Greater Manchester West NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust. This is the first phase of an investment that can, and will, make a real difference to improving the mental health and lives of children and young people.”

Earlier this year the Government published its mental health strategy - No health without mental health, which takes a life course approach with a focus on early and effective intervention, alongside extending psychological therapies to children and young people.

The Government asked universities and teaching providers to link up with local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) partnerships to transform services for children and young people’s mental health. The first phase of the project will invest in three collaboratives:

  • UCL (University College London)/KCL (King’s College London) as the joint HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) covering Cambridge, Hertfordshire, Sussex, Greenwich, Lambeth & Southwark, Haringey, Westminster and Wandsworth.
  • Salford Cognitive Therapy Training Centre at Greater Manchester West NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust as the HEI covering North Pennine, South Pennine, Manchester & Salford, Derby and Barnsley.
  • Reading as the HEI covering Oxford, Swindon, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire, Bath & NE Somerset, Bournemouth, Dorset, Poole and Gloucestershire.

CAMHS works alongside schools, families and other services to support the need of young people in a diverse way. Any organisation seeking funding had to tell us how they are going to involve children, young people and families to consider the service change necessary, and each successful local partnership will have an allowance in their budget for participation.

As part of embedding best evidence based practice, the Chief Medical Officer and the NHS Medical Director will write to clinicians to remind them of the NICE guidelines available on a range of mental health conditions, including ADHD, causing poor mental health in children and teenagers.

Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive of YoungMinds said:

“YoungMinds welcomes this inspiring and ambitious programme which makes the most effective use of the £32 million funding available for children and young people’s psychological therapies.

“Children and young people tell us they want increased access to talking therapies, to be centrally involved in decisions about their care and for clinicians to be trained to make these possible. The Children and Young People’s IAPT programme is unique in achieving all the above in one initiative.
“We are facing challenging times for children and young people so we look forward to this initiative developing and growing so greater numbers can benefit in the future.”

Clinical leaders and mental health charities have worked with us to develop the proposed shape of IAPT for children and the development is in line with what young people are telling us.

Source: Department of Health

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Written by Matthew Abbott   
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 08:37
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 08:43

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