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LGA responds to Government announcement on mental health services 11 January 2016

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Local Government Association Community Wellbeing spokesperson responds to the Government's announcement of additional funding for mental health services.

"We have long called for more money to support mental health services and we are pleased to see that there has been additional funding which could improve much needed access to vital services for thousands of people, including new mums.

"As many as one in 10 children between the ages of one and 15 will suffer from a mental health disorder and we desperately need to see the whole system properly funded, resourced and joined up to ensure children receive support when they need it. Councils commission mental health services alongside the NHS and there are opportunities for both to work closely together to achieve the improvements needed.

"We have already been working with central government to improve mental health services. It is vital that the urgent improvements which have been identified are addressed and that the system is joined-up to help tackle the challenges faced each day by anyone experiencing mental health issues."

Notes

  • One in 10 children between the ages of one and 15 will suffer from a mental health disorder - the Office for National Statistics Mental health in children and young people in Great Britain, 2005

  • The recent publication of the Children and Young People's Mental Health Taskforce report and the Health Select Committee's report into CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) act as an urgent call to action. The Government needs to work with partners across the system both at national and local level to drive forward profound and permanent improvements to CAMHS as outlined in the recommendations in these reports.

  • Over half of all mental ill health starts before the age of 14 years, and 75% has developed by the age of 18 years (Future in Mind 2014). 11.5% of young people between 11-16 years have a mental health problem. The life chances of those children are significantly reduced in terms of physical health, educational and work prospects. There is a growing body of evidence that schools are required to provide a whole school approach to wellbeing. Figures show that there is a clear relationship between physical health and mental health outcomes for example, body mass index, tobacco use and being bullied (Brookes 2012). 

  • Emotional support and early intervention in the teenage years should be as important as well as the pressures for teenagers to achieve A grade results. The rates of children self-harming has grown significantly. The last comprehensive study of self-harm in England was published by the British Medical Journal in 2002. It surveyed around 6,000 15 and 16-year-olds in 41 schools and found that 6.9% of them said they had self-harmed over the past year. This compares with the 2013-14 WHO (World Health Organisation) study, which puts the figure at 20% of 15-year-olds.

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