Petition Increase funding to Children's Mental Health services

NHS children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHs) are so poorly funded that young people are often left to suicide before they get the help they need. CAMHs are having to turn away children with complex psychological conditions. No child should be told they are not ill enough to get help.

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Government responded

This response was given on 5 March 2019

Mental health funding will grow by at least £2.3bn a year by 2023/24, with funding for children and young people’s mental health growing faster than overall NHS funding.

Read the response in full

Children and young people’s mental health is a top priority for this government.

Since the petition began on 2 November 2018, NHS England has published the NHS Long Term Plan, which set out how mental health funding will grow by at least £2.3bn a year by 2023/24, with funding for children and young people’s mental health services growing faster than both overall NHS funding and total mental health spending.

The Government is committed to improving access to mental health services for children and young people and ensuring that mental health support is available to all children and young people who need it. The Department has an extensive programme of work underway to improve support for children and young people’s mental health and we are on track to increase access as set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. The new investment announced in the Long-Term Plan will mean that by 2023/24 an extra 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 will receive mental health support via NHS-funded mental health services and school- or college-based mental health support teams.

In addition, the Government has announced further plans to improve early intervention for mild to moderate mental health conditions, through better join up with schools and colleges. Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision”, published in December 2017, set out our plans to improve access to mental health services for children through its three key proposals: creating new Mental Health Support Teams working in and near schools and colleges to support children and young people with mild to moderate mental health conditions; piloting a four-week waiting time for access to specialist NHS children’s mental health services; and training Designated Senior Leads in mental health in schools and colleges. This new schools-based service is in addition to existing provision for children and young people with mental health needs.

Although relatively rare, the number of suicides amongst children and young people remains a concern. The National Suicide Prevention Strategy highlights children and young people as a group requiring tailored approaches to meet their mental health needs. We published the first Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Workplan in January 2019 which sets out an ambitious programme for suicide prevention across national and local government. This workplan highlights steps we are taking across government to reduce suicides in children and young people: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/suicide-prevention-cross-government-plan.

Department of Health and Social Care.

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response that more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/231146)

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Original Government response

Mental health funding will grow by at least £2.3bn a year by 2023/24, with funding for children and young people’s mental health growing faster than overall NHS funding.

Children and young people’s mental health is a top priority for this government.

The NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7 January 2019, sets out how mental health funding will grow by at least £2.3bn a year by 2023/24, with funding for children and young people’s mental health services growing faster than both overall NHS funding and total mental health spending. This will mean that by 2023/24 an extra 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 will receive mental health support via NHS-funded mental health services.

In addition, the Government has announced further plans to improve early intervention for mild to moderate mental health conditions, through better join up with schools and colleges. “Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services: a Green Paper”, published in December 2017, sets out how we are creating a new workforce of Mental Health Support Teams, working in and near schools and colleges, with trained staff to deliver interventions to young people to support their mental health.

We plan to test and evaluate the proposals set out in our Green Paper through trailblazer sites, prior to rolling these out nationally. The first wave of 25 trailblazer sites were announced on 20 December 2018. We will use 12 of these trailblazers to pilot a four-week waiting time from referral to treatment within specialist NHS children’s mental health services.

Department of Health and Social Care.
This response was given on 24 January 2019. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.

Joint Education Committee and Health and Social Care Committee report

We thought you would be interested to know that in May 2018 two groups of MPs—the Education Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee—published a joint report on children and young people’s mental health provision.

Read an interactive version of the report, The Government’s Green Paper on mental health: failing a generation:

https://social.shorthand.com/CommonsHealth/3CYE7IOL7n/thousands-of-children-to-miss-out-on-mental-health-support

Read the standard version of the report:

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmhealth/642/64202.htm

The Government responded to the report in July 2018. Read the Government’s response:

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/Health/Correspondence/2017-19/Government-response-Child-adolescent-mental-health-green-paper-report-Cm-9627.pdf

Find out more about the Committees’ joint inquiry, including the evidence they received:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/transforming-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-inquiry-17-19/

What are the Education Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee?

The Committees that worked together on this issue usually separately look at and question how the Government Departments for Education and for Health and Social Care and associated organisations:

• are run
• spend money
• decide on policies

Both are cross-party committees and are independent of the Government.

You can find out more about the Education Committee on its website:

https://www.parliament.uk/education-committee

You can find out more about the Health and Social Care Committee on its website:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-and-social-care-committee/

You can follow the Committees on Twitter:

@CommonsEd

@CommonsHealth

Both Committees are ‘Select Committees’. Find out how Select Committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c&feature=youtu.be

Find out about how to get involved in your UK Parliament: http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/

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