The government has announced a £32 million investment in psychological therapies, including talking therapies, for children and young people with mental health problems.
The money will fund the first phase of a move to encourage universities and teaching hospitals to link up with local child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) to improve services and adapt the successful elements of the adult programme of psychological therapies for children.
Care services minister Paul Burstow said the investment was breaking new ground in children’s mental health.
“We’re working with young people and staff to start to change the way mental health is delivered by the NHS,” he said. “Half of those with mental health problems first experience symptoms by age 14, and three-quarters before their mid-twenties. This pioneering work will focus on early and effective treatment.”
The first phase of the project will invest in three collaboratives:
● UCL (University College London)/KCL (King’s College London) and Camhs teams in Cambridge, Hertfordshire, Sussex, Greenwich, Lambeth & Southwark, Haringey, Westminster and Wandsworth.
● Salford Cognitive Therapy Training Centre at Greater Manchester West NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust and Camhs teams in North Pennine, South Pennine, Manchester & Salford, Derby and Barnsley.
● Reading University and Camhs teams in Oxford, Swindon, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire, Bath & NE Somerset, Bournemouth, Dorset, Poole and Gloucestershire.
Children’s minister Sarah Teather said Young Minds was being funded to help build capacity in voluntary and community organisations to deliver early intervention support to children and young people.
Young Minds chief executive Sarah Brennan said the move would be welcomed by children and young people who had told them they wanted more access to talking therapies and for more clinicians to be trained in such techniques.
In this first year, staff and service managers in Camhs will be embedding best practice in using cognitive behavioural therapy and parenting therapy so that all practitioners can use session-by-session outcome monitoring.
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