Data released shows a shocking number of children and young people struggling with mental disorders and falling numbers of specialist consultant psychiatrists.
The figures, collected by NHS Digital and released by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ show that one in eight (12.8%) children and young people aged between five and 19 had a mental disorder in England in 2017. This is around 1.25 million children and young people.
Only one in four children and young people with a mental disorder are seen by a mental health specialist and over 400,000 children and young people are not getting any professional help at all.
In conjunction with these statistics, there has also been a drop in the number of consultant psychiatrists specialising in helping children and young people.
Across England, the number of consultant child and adolescent psychiatrists, the most senior doctors specialising in children’s mental health, has declined by 5.1% since August 2014. The latest training programme data shows that 60% of training places for child and adolescent psychiatry were unfilled.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“The Government talks a lot about improvements to mental health services but that is all it is, talk.
“The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper sets out plans to improve service provision and strengthen the link between schools and the NHS.
But by the Government’s own estimates, a quarter of a million children and young people who could be helped will still be missing out in five years, this is simply not good enough. Young people in Portsmouth and across the country need better access to support now.
“I will continue to lobby Ministers to commit to a significant improvement in access to services, and to recruiting and retaining physiatrists that can provide the specialist care that children and young people with mental disorders so desperately need.”