Act on children’s mental ill health or risk national crisis, warns expert

The UK should brace itself for a “tsunami” of adults with mental health problems unless urgent action is taken to help today’s children, according to one of the leading experts in the field.

Prof Dame Sue Bailey, chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, says the government needs to spend heavily now on mental health services for children if a crisis is to be averted.

“I describe mental health services as a car crash waiting to happen,” Bailey said. “The government is starting to do the right thing, NHS England is pulling the money through, but there are so many factors mitigating against it succeeding that it needs a financial fuel injection, right now.”

Ahead of this week’s Conservative party conference, when the prime minister is expected to identify improving mental health as a key priority, Bailey, chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and a former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said baby boomers like her needed to do more to help young people, not just for their children’s sake but for themselves.

“We’d see immediate benefits, a better transition from primary to secondary school, a better transition of children into the world of work; they’d be more robust, more resilient.”

She suggested that her generation owed it to those that followed.

Full story in The Guardian 1 October 2016