Children’s mental health referrals increase

It also found that as many as one in four children referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) were rejected.

While average waiting times for treatment have fallen, they remain twice as long as the Government’s new standard outlined in its children’s mental health Green Paper.

The report also said that a quarter of councils have phased out vital support services, including school-based mental health services, family counselling and support for those living with domestic abuse.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “This report reinforces the urgent need for a root-and-branch overhaul of children’s mental health services, and for the
NHS to work with councils to develop a system that says yes, rather than no, to children when they ask for help.

“Councils across the country work hard to ensure children and young people can access the support they need, but with children’s services facing a £3 billion funding gap by 2025, this is getting increasingly difficult.

“As a result, many councils are being forced to cut early intervention work, including youth services, which helps children avoid reaching crisis point, perform better at school and avoid mental health issues in later life.

“This has been compounded by government cuts to councils’ public health funding, which also helps young people to get the best start in life.”

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