Provision of Mental Health Services for Children and Young People

Thank you for contacting me about the provision of mental health services for children and young people.

It is incredibly important to protect and support the health of children and young people in our society. In recent years we have made huge progress in understanding mental health issues, and I support efforts to transform children and young people’s mental health for the better.

Approximately 10 per cent of 5 to 16 year olds have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem. Between 2015 and 2020, an additional £1.4 billion is being invested to transform children and young people’s mental health, aiming to help an additional 70,000 children and young people to access NHS specialist services a year by 2020/21.

The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper sets out ambitious proposals to improve mental health services for children and young people, together with over £300 million of funding. This will incentivise and support schools and colleges to train designated leaders for their pupils’ mental health, and introduce new mental health teams, both of which will ease pressure on NHS mental health services.

The NHS Long Term Plan makes a commitment to offering children and young people the best start in life. As part of this, there is an additional commitment to deliver on the promises made in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health so that 70,000 more children and young people will access treatment each year by 2020/21. Moreover, by 2023/2024 at least an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 will be able to access support via NHS funded mental health services and school or college-based Mental Health Support Teams.

In addition, the NHS is on track to deliver new waiting time standards for eating disorder services by 2020/21. Four fifths of children and young people with an eating disorder now receive treatment within one week in urgent cases and four weeks in non-urgent cases. Extra investment will enable maintained delivery of the 95 per cent standard beyond 2020/21.

I will try and attend the event in Parliament about the importance of early intervention for young people's mental health on Monday 30th March 2020, depending on my Parliamentary commitments that day.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.