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New report from the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network

An important new report published today by the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network states that without full integration of mental health services, there is a serious risk of putting even more pressure on children's mental health services that are already struggling to cope. 

Boy sitting on sofa and playing with toys talking to counsellor

Reaching the Tipping Point looks at the impact the pandemic has had on children and young people’s mental health and the services that support them. The report discusses inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic and highlights the continued rising demand for mental health support. 

To help prevent more serious issues arising, the Mental Health Network makes recommendations on how the Government and Integrated Care Systems can help address some of the issues faced.

The report calls for: 

  • Investment in workforce development - Investment in more children and young people’s mental health specialists, as well as training, support, and consultation for the wider workforce, in the NHS and beyond. 
  • Continued investment in transforming the whole children and young people’s mental health system - Including working alongside people with lived experience to make services more accessible and flexible to meet the needs of children and young people.
  • Investment in early intervention - Early intervention and addressing the wider determinants of mental health need to be prioritised and funded accordingly. 
  • Boosting integrated working - Putting in place joint strategic approaches to responding to the needs of communities. 
  • Ensuring mental health representation on Integrated Care System boards - Given the complexity of children’s mental health issues, ICSs will benefit from having expertise on integrated care boards and in integrated care partnerships. 

Place2Be supports the recommendations put forward in the report. Our Chief Executive, Catherine Roche, is a board member of the Mental Health Network and said this on the findings of the report:   

We know that the proportion of children experiencing mental health problems has grown in recent years. Even before the pandemic, school leaders were telling us it was increasingly challenging to get child and adolescent mental health support when pupils needed it.

“With services struggling to meet increasing demand, it’s vital that we intervene early to prevent the escalation of mental health problems. Half of all adults with lifetime mental ill-health first experience symptoms by the age of 14.

Our recent study in partnership with The University of Exeter and The University of Cambridge evidences that providing mental health support in schools has long-term benefit.'' 

To prevent extra strain on CAMHS as more and more young people reach crisis point, we need a joined-up approach to mental health, with health services, community support services and schools coming together to get children and young people the help they deserve at the earliest stage.

The full report is published on the NHS Confederation website.

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