Responding to the Government’s announcement of £79 million for mental health support for children and young people, part of the previously announced £500 million for general mental health, Sean Duggan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network, said:
“This funding is extremely welcome, as we know that children and young people’s mental health has suffered hugely as a result of the pandemic, with forecasts of up to 1.5 million needing new or additional support. Children and young people’s mental health services have also suffered from historic underfunding, which led to a high level of unmet need even before the crisis took hold, something that has been exacerbated over the last year.
“We are pleased to see the funding will be used to increase access to community mental health and eating disorder services, given the increased pressures on specialist mental health services, including on inpatient beds for young people with eating disorders. It’s also good news that some of the funding will be used to speed up the rollout of the Mental Health Support Teams, something we have called for, for some time.
“We know our members are already seeing an increase in referrals for children and young people, and an increase in the complexity and severity of the cases being referred. Early intervention is extremely important, and we hope this funding will help to support that. We also await further details on how the rest of the £500 million for mental health will be spent.”