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New report on promoting, protecting and improving children and young people's mental health

How can we make it easier for children, young people, parents and carers to access help and support they need?

That was the question addressed by a new report from the Government's CAMHS taskforce.

The report 'Future in mind – promoting, protecting and improving our children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing’ was launched today. It sets out a number of proposals the Government wishes to see by 2020.

The taskforce was put together last September to consider how to improve the accessibility of CAMHS and also how to improve the ways children and young people’s mental health services are organised, commissioned and provided. Professor Peter Fonagy and Dr Miranda Wolpert from the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families were both members of the taskforce.

Recommendations of the report include:

  • Tackling stigma and improving attitudes to mental illness by building on the success of Time to Change and developing a targeted campaign to create a culture where young people and their families are not afraid to seek help.
  • More access and waiting time standards for services so that young people can expect prompt treatment when they need it, just as they can for physical health problems.
  • Information and self-help via online tools and apps with approved information and support that will help young people ‘self-care’ and know how to seek professional help if they need it.
  • Changing the way services are commissioned so that care is based around the needs of children and their families and they can get the right support from the right service at the right time
  • ‘One stop shop’ support services in the community so that anyone needing support knows where to find it.
  • Improved access to support through named points of contact in specialist mental health services and schools, including mental health specialists working directly in schools and GP practices.
  • Improving care for children and young people in crisis so they are treated in the right place at the right time, as close to home as possible. This would build on the work of the Crisis Care Concordat to make sure no-one under 18 experiencing a mental health crisis is detained in a police cell.
  • Mental health training for health professionals (including GPs) and others who work with children and young people including staff in schools to help them identify problems and make sure children and young people get the help they need.
  • Improving access for children and young people who are particularly vulnerable, such as looked after children and care leavers, and those in contact with the youth justice system.

Read the report.