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News for the Meon Valley

MP Calls For Better Mental Health Support For Children, But Average Wait For Treatment Is A YEAR

By Times Reporter in News on March 24, 2023

Meon Valley Conservative MP Flick Drummond says she is supporting a national campaign to better support young people with mental health issues.

Yet figures currently show that under her party, on average Hampshire children needing mental health care have to wait 15 weeks to be assessed and more than a year for treatment to start through Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Flick went to the YoungMinds event in Westminster this week to discuss the huge rise in young people who are being referred with mental health problems with services struggling to cope.

The numbers have risen since the pandemic when schools were closed during lockdowns and exams disrupted.

Flick, who is a member of the Education Select Committee, went to the event after receiving a letter from a constituent Lauren Edwards.

Health minister Maria Caulfield also spoke at it. “The rise in the number of young people with mental health issues is very concerning and I thank Lauren for writing to me,” said Flick.

“The government is recognising that action must be taken and I was pleased to see the minister at the event.

“Ministers have announced more than £24 million to improve mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges and to train mental health leads in schools.

“This recognises how young people have been impacted by covid and now the cost of living and it is welcome alongside increased funding back in 2021.

“However, it is important this issue remains in the spotlight and I thank YoungMinds for organising the event.”

CAMHS says: “All referrals will be reviewed as an initial risk screening within 24 hours (during working hours) but for the majority of referrals there will be a significant period of time where you may not receive contact from the service due to the current volume of demand.

“We are therefore not in the position to respond to questions or queries regarding our waiting list or when a child will be seen.

“We are experiencing increasing waiting times both for an initial assessment and where appropriate ongoing treatment. Our average waiting time for initial assessments is 15 weeks and for treatment is 54 weeks.

“It is important to understand that some young people are seen much sooner, and unfortunately some will wait much longer. We are working hard to address these challenges and we are increasing resources in response.”


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