At least one-in-six children have a diagnosable mental health condition.
The number of children requiring mental health support has increased dramatically over the past year. 190,271 under-18 year olds were referred to children and young people’s mental health services between April and June 2021 – up 134 per cent on the same period last year (81,170) and 96 per cent on 2019 (97,342).
Despite this the average spent on children’s mental health support is much lower than the average spend on adult mental health support.
Depending on where you live in the country spending on children’s mental health services range from £15.90 – £165.20 per child – compared to the national average of £225 spent per adult on mental health care.
Waiting times for children to access mental health services can also be appallingly long – ranging from an average of 6 days to 81 days depending on your CCG area.
As a result more and more children are being turned away from NHS mental health services and being forced to access private care – which is not affordable for many families.
The Liberal Democrats would make sure there is a dedicated mental health professional in every school, and introduce maximum waiting times for NHS mental health services. This would be funded by a Digital Services Tax on social media sites and web search engines that so often exacerbate mental health problems.
ALDC has produced a campaign pack with materials to promote our Lib Dem policies to support children with mental health needs.
- A briefing from the Local Government Association on the demand and capacity of Children’s Mental Health Services can be found here.
- A breakdown per CCG on the average spend per child on NHS mental health services, and average wait times to access these services can be found here.
- A template press release can be downloaded here