‘Consider children’s needs separately’

Children’s mental health charity YoungMinds has stepped up
its call for the proposed mental health bill to address the needs
of children and young people separately.

The national charity’s response to the draft bill
highlighted the “different stage of psychological development” and
“very different social needs” of children and adolescents.

YoungMinds was keen that the bill specified that professionals
including psychiatrists, clinical supervisors and advocates were
all children’s specialists.

The charity also said that a psychiatrist who diagnosed a child
or young person with a mental disorder should be required to inform
social services departments so that help is available under the
Children Act. “Experience shows that, without this requirement,
hard-pressed services may not do it,” the charity said.

YoungMinds said any future mental health act should include the
concept of a “child in need of mental health services” and ensure
that health authorities have a duty to meet that need.

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