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METRO Welcomes Health Select Committee Report on Children's & Adolescents' Mental Health Services & CAMHS

5th November 2014

The Parliamentary Health Select Committee has launched its report on its inquiry into children's & adolescents' mental health and CAMHS. Welcoming the report Dr Greg Ussher, METRO Chief Executive said:

'We welcome the Health Select Committee's report into children's and young people's mental health services and CAMHS, highlighting increasing need and demand for services and diminishing resources and lack of coordination in commissioning. The Committee's report exposes a crisis to which urgent and critical action is required.

Our evidence to the Committee highlighted the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people drawn from our Youth Chances research and our on the ground experience working with young people. We are pleased to see that the report acknowledges both the higher rates of mental health problems for LGBTQ young people and their specific needs and we urge the recently established Children and Young People's Mental Health Taskforce to consider the evidence and respond urgently to their needs in its review.

We concur with the Committee on the lack of reliable and current data on children and young people's mental health. This must be addressed with a national dataset that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. We are horrified at the high levels of mental health problems reported to us through our Youth Chances research with over half of LGBTQ young people reporting mental health issues and nearly half having considered suicide.

On top of the general bias against mental health in the overall health budget, only 6% of mental health spend goes to children and young people; yet we know that early intervention is both critical and effective. Young people need to be able to access services quickly when they need them, without high thresholds and long waiting times during which their problems often escalate.

We welcome the Committee's acknowledgement of the significant role of charities and the voluntary sector in providing these early intervention services and supporting children and young people and their families through the system.

 

Notes:

  1. The Health Committee's Report is available here
  2. You can find out more about the Children & Young People's Mental Health Taskforce here
  3. Youth Chances is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and is led by METRO in partnership with the University of Greenwich and Ergo Consulting. It is a five year social research project working directly with individuals, providers and commissioners to influence service provision and policy for 16-25 year old LGBTQ youth. www.youthchances.org
  4. Youth Chances results are based on a representative sample of over 7,000 young people and show:
    -42% of LGBTQ young people have sought medical help for anxiety or depression
    - 52% of LGBTQ young people report self-harm either now or in the past
    - 44% of LGBTQ young people have considered suicide
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