Children are reaching 'crisis point' before they get mental health support, says Centre for Mental Health spokesman

Mental Health

Friday, November 23, 2018

Children are reaching "crisis point" before they get any mental health support, the deputy chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health has claimed.

Andy Bell appeared on the breakfast show to discuss a new NHS report, which revealed that one in eight people under the age of 19 have a mental health disorder.

The charity spokesman blamed "disinvestment" on the number of under 19s with mental health problems, claiming children were being left to "hit a crisis" before help was available.

 

 

"The problem at the moment is we've seen such disinvestment that more and more children are being left at the point at which they hit a crisis, and they only get any help when they get to crisis point," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"These are not problems you can medicate children for, these are problems that are largely social, they're to do with the environments we grow up in, the schools we go to, things like bullying."

 

Early intervention

He claimed that the key to tackling mental health issues in young people was early intervention, and involvement from schools in helping children prepare for the "ups and downs" of life.

"All children can benefit from school-based programmes to teach us how to look after our own mental health. Some children who are struggling might need access to counselling and support very early on that will help to stop problems escalating," he said.

"There's lots of things we can do that are very inexpensive that prevent problems escalating to that point of crisis."

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