Just days before Sarah Lawson’s father was convicted of her
manslaughter, health minister John Hutton again called for an
improvement to our appalling child and adolescent mental health
While James Lawson’s counsel was asking a judge to place him on
probation for aiding his 22-year-old daughter to take her own life
after suffering from manic depression for a decade, Hutton
confirmed that child and adolescent mental health would be included
in the forthcoming National Service Framework for Children.
Big deal. Mental health professionals have been arguing for at
least a decade that services for children and young people with
mental health problems are unsatisfactory. Including their needs in
the NSF for children and giving £15 million to councils and
£20 million to health authorities, which do not have to use
their allocation on these services, is not enough. Campaigners want
a specific NSF for those aged 16 to 25 with mental health problems.
It’s too late for Sarah Lawson but the government can act now to
ensure young people with mental health problems no longer slip
through the net of substandard services.