The Liberal Democrats have announced £1.25 billion pounds of new funding over the next five years to treat 110,000 more children with mental health issues, and provide rapid access to treatment for new mothers.
The changes are a seismic shift to revolutionise children’s mental healthcare.
Statistically on average three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health condition and research shows that left untreated it can blight their adult lives. But until now, provision of appropriate care has been insufficient to meet their needs.
As part of the package, the first ever-waiting time standards for children’s mental health will be introduced, and specialists in children’s talking therapy will be available in every part of the country by 2018. The funding will also extend access to services for children under five and those with autism and learning disabilities.
Wandsworth Lib Dem campaigner, Jon Irwin, said “With Springfield and St Mary's Hospital locally, there is a greater awareness of some of the impacts that mental health issues can have on members of our community. I'm delighted that the Lib Dems have put such prominence to get parity of care between mental and physical health treatment, a problem with either can be debilitating. I look forward to seeing the Lib Dems being able to continue to promote this issue as part of the next government. “
Who will this help?
Children and young people with conditions like
- self harm
- depression or anxiety - some so affected they are not even going to school
- at risk of suicide
- conduct disorder - including those at risk of exclusion from school
What kind of help will they get?
- therapy sessions
- parenting support for their families
- group work
- more evidence based therapies and better trained clinicians
- care closer to home and in their communities (eg local cafes, youth centres, shopping malls)
- help via websites and apps
- more control over their care
- services will be better organised with routine collection of data and recovery rates