In the news: mental health care services for children

The current state of mental health services for children has drawn the attention of the media as of late, as care and support minister Norman Lamb has called for certain urgent changes to be made to the way services are run.

In a report from BBC News, it has been explained that approximately one in ten young people between the ages of five and 16 suffer from mental health problems. The article explains that with the systems that are currently in place, patients are having to sit on waiting lists for far too long in order to receive treatment, with some being treated a great distance away from home, or in adult wards that are considered unsuitable.

In the BBC’s article, Norman Lamb is reported saying that the current state of mental health services for young people needs to be modernised. The changes Lamb hopes to make will ensure services are readily available to those who need it, with help also being accessible online.

The recent news stories have been supported by mental health charity Young Minds, which has highlighted that certain councils have recently made significant cuts to their available services. Its report also explains how only 6% of NHS mental health funding is spent on services for children, which has resulted in a now inadequate level of care. The report goes on to explain how many adolescents requiring treatment have instead ended up in police cells, due to necessary services being widely unavailable.

The Independent's report on the matter illustrates Norman Lamb’s view that there is a bias acting against mental health, which needs to be changed. He also calls for an equality between health services, explaining that mental health matters need to be treated with the same gravity as physical health matters.

With an increase in the number of young people requiring mental health treatment, the news indicates that if changes were to be made to the way patients receive help, the current strain on mental health services as a whole will lessen.

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