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LGA - Councils share good practice for supporting children and young people’s mental wellbeing

A new report published by the Local Government Association yesterday sets out how councils and their partners can work most effectively together to support children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Latest figures show that 11.2 per cent of the 5 to 15 population has a mental health condition – up from 9.6 per cent in 2004 – with referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) having increased by around 26 per cent in 5 years.

The report by Isos Partnership and commissioned by the LGA includes fieldwork with eight council areas (Bedford Borough, Camden, Cornwall, Dorset, Hertfordshire, Isles of Scilly, Liverpool and Salford).

Published by the LGA to coincide with Child Mental Health Awareness Week, it explores the systemic issues that continue to frustrate local efforts, including historic underfunding, a fragmented system, the capacity of those mental health professionals and the lack of investment in early support.

It also sets out examples of good practice in local areas and highlights nine critical elements that help councils and local partners act early to resolve issues before they escalate, and provide more timely, accessible and joined-up care for those with more complex needs.

The LGA is calling for the Government to provide long-term investment in essential early support and prevention services so councils can help more children to avoid reaching crisis point in the first place.

Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said:

“This report provides helpful guidance and good practice to councils about how they can work with local partners in their vital role in helping children have mentally healthy childhoods.

“It provides further evidence that children are being driven into NHS services that treat mental illness because the system and funding prioritise treatment rather than the early support and preventative services that help children have mentally healthy childhoods.

“To turn this around needs concerted and coordinated action at a national level to shift away from treating children once they are diagnosed with a mental illness towards helping them and their families cope with challenges before they escalate.”

Notes to editors

Read the full report: Building resilience: how local partnerships are supporting children and young people's mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Original article link: https://www.local.gov.uk/councils-share-good-practice-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-wellbeing

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