The British Psychological Society welcomes the announcement of a five-year plan for a complete overhaul of mental health services for children and young people in England.
This follows the publication of a report by the Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing Taskforce which found that many young people are not able to access the help they need.
Chair of Society Division of Clinical Psychology's Faculty of Children and Young People Julia Faulconbridge, the Society's representative on the government Taskforce said:
"The Taskforce successfully engaged children, young people and parents throughout and harnessed the knowledge and drive of a wide range of people who have frontline experience of working in the field. The Society commends the accurate and succinct account of the current problems in mental health provision for children, young people and families. The evidence from our members shows that these have now reached crisis point. The report contains a powerful summary of the social, psychological and economic costs of the current lack of provision and the arguments for change are very welcome."
Amongst the many recommendations the Society highlights are:
- Promoting resilience, prevention and early intervention;
- Remodelling of provision to fit the needs of children, young people and parents;
- Improving accountability;
- Creating a public awareness campaign with a focus on reducing stigma;
- Recognising the importance of schools;
- The recognition that current age of transition around the 18th birthday is damaging to many young people in need of services;
- An increased focus on the needs of children and young people with physical health problems and how physical and psychological health are connected. *
Julia continued: "The problems described in the report have been recognised by families and those working with them for many years and have now reached crisis point . Therefore the Society supports the Taskforce's recommendations and hopes that these are implemented carefully by the next Government with energy and commitment. The recent announcement of additional funding is a welcome step towards this."
"In addition, the Faculty will be launching a set of papers in October this year entitled " What does good look like in psychological services for children, young people and families" These will lay out the evidence and recommendations for the provision of good multidisciplinary psychological services across all settings in which children young people and parents are seen to act as a guide to commissioners and service providers in the transformation process."