Children and Young People’s Mental Health: State of the Nation

Today CentreForum have published the first report of our Commission on children and young people’s mental health. Our new research has revealed the problems young people face when trying to access mental health care. Services turn away, on average, nearly a quarter (23%) of children and teenagers referred to them by their GPs, teachers or others. Our analysis of services’ eligibility criteria shows that this is often because there are high thresholds for access to their services, preventing often the most effective treatment of mental health conditions – early intervention.

Once a referral is accepted, young people often have to wait many months for treatment. Indeed, the average of the longest waiting times was nearly ten months between referral and the start of treatment. There was also significant variation in waiting times between providers. The average waiting time in Gateshead for example is five times as long as for those just down the road in Tyneside. Similarly, waits in North West London vary widely from two months in Kensington and Chelsea, to nearly six months in Brent.

For full report see Centre Forum 11 April 2016