Mental Health Foundation:16 to 25-year-olds falling between gaps

Primary care trusts and councils must commission specific mental health services for 16 to 25-year-olds to stop them falling between children’s and adults’ services, the Mental Health Foundation said today.

In a report designed to make the case for increased voluntary sector provision of mental health, it said the division between statutory children’s services, which tended to end at 16, and adult services, which started at 18, did not adequately reflect young people’s needs.

Instead, it called for local partnership boards, with voluntary sector representation, to be set up to commission services specifically for 16 to 25-year-olds.

The report is a result of a three-year study into eight charitable projects, largely providing services for this age group.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Andrew McCulloch said young people were often deterred from using statutory mental health services, adding:  “In contrast, the voluntary sector has demonstrated the ability to provide services that attract young people.”

The report also said the commissioning process should be simplified to provide services.

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