Responding to a review of children and young people’s mental health services by the Care Quality Commission, Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“This report highlights the urgency with which we need to tackle the crisis facing children and young people’s mental health, and its findings are further evidence that children are not getting the treatment they need, when they need it. It reveals the fragmentation, complexity and variation of a service that investment alone cannot solve.
“At the moment we have a mental health system that still says no rather than yes to children when they ask for help with problems such as depression, anxiety, family issues and bereavement.
“Councils, which play a critical role in improving the lives of all residents, want the Government’s green paper on children’s mental health to deliver the root and branch reform it so desperately needs.
“Mental health must be put on the same footing as physical health. Greater investment is needed in community-based preventive services, such as counselling in schools, which gives children and young people the support they need and keeps them out of hospital in the first place.
“We cannot continue with a system that is leaving thousands of children and families in distress, causing lifelong damage and preventing them from reaching their true potential.”