Mental health network

Concerning increase in children and young people contacting mental health services

Sean Duggan

Commenting on the latest mental health services monthly performance statistics published by NHS Digital, Sean Duggan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network, said: “These figures show the pandemic is now having a demonstrable impact on the mental wellbeing of the public. Of particular concern is the increase in the number of children and young people in contact with mental health services, as well as the increase in acuity of cases.

“Our members have been reporting higher demand on children and young people’s services for some time, especially on inpatient beds, including for eating disorders. It is therefore even more crucial the funding allocated to support the expansion of children and young people’s community mental health and eating disorders reaches the front line.

“Some of the funding was also intended to help with the roll out of the mental health support teams in schools. Given the disruption children and young people have faced over the last year and the stresses of returning to school, it is now even more important that this moves forward. Identifying and addressing lower-level issues can prevent them from getting worse and developing into serious mental health problems, as well as potentially preventing exclusion, which can also affect their mental health.”

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