Mental health charity YoungMinds has said the government’s pledge to support local delivery of child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs), announced today, lacks the commitment necessary to make a difference.
The government has published its full response to the 20 recommendations in last year’s independent review of Camhs, calling on all local areas to support children’s emotional well-being and mental health.
The package to back this delivery includes £58m to support co-location of health services. This incorporates mental health provision alongside schools and other places where children and young people go, as well as the roll-out of the £60m DCSF Targeted Mental Heath in Schools programme to every local authority from April.
Although YoungMinds applauded the government’s emphasis of schemes such as the Targeted Mental Health in Schools project, chief executive Sarah Brennan said this was not enough.
“These projects are short term, with funding ending in March 2011,” she said. “Without commitment from government to ensure their continuation, services are at risk of going backwards.”
Children and families minister Delyth Morgan said: “We are calling on professionals to make sure they spot emerging issues from an early age and prevent emotional or mental health problems spiralling out of control. It’s important that all services and professionals working with children and young people, especially schools and early years settings, are aware of the signs and can act quickly to help children and their families to deal with their problems and get the support they need.”
But Brennan criticised the timing of the government’s response.
“It is disappointing that we have had to wait more than a year for this response, whereas other similar government reports, such as the Bradley review, were responded to immediately,” she said.