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Overhaul of mental health services for young people welcome

Published: 17.03.15

Hugh Thornbery, our chief executive, has backed the call from the Care Minister Norman Lamb for a “complete overhaul” of mental health services for children and young people in England.
Overhaul of mental health services for young people welcome

It follows a review of services by a government taskforce which has found that too many young people are not getting the help they need.

The taskforce found growing numbers of children and young people are also presenting with increasingly complex and severe problems, it says.

In response, ministers have made a five-year plan to improve services.

Mr Thornbery added: "Adopted children's early experiences can lead to emotional, behavioural, educational and developmental difficulties and indeed impact on their mental health and wellbeing. Adoptive parents tell us of their frustrations at getting the right kind of support, understanding and access to CAHMS so a complete overhaul like this gives the perfect opportunity to get this right for adopted children as well as others.

"We have been calling on policy makers across the UK to ensure adopted children have priority access to Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS). The services they receive must be appropriate to their needs and delivered by adoption aware professionals and those with experience of trauma."

The five-year plan - based on the recommendations of the taskforce - are being set out by Mr Lamb, who has talked openly about his own son's struggle with mental health issues.

"I want to change the way we think about mental health care so that any child, whether they have a mental illness or simply need support through a difficult time, can get the right help at the right time," says Mr Lamb.

The announcement comes after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said at the weekend there would be an extra £1.25bn for mental health in this week's Budget.

A large portion of this will be spent on ensuring that by 2020, an extra 100,000 children and young people get the help they need.

Read the Report of the work of the Children and Young People's Mental Health Taskforce on the Gov.uk website.