The Royal College of Psychiatrists has joined with other
organisations to call on the Government to recognise children’s
mental health services as a priority.
A statement drawn up jointly by the RCPsych, the Royal College
of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Royal College of Nursing,
Royal College of General Practitioners and the Division of Clinical
Psychology from the British Psychological Society, recognises the
common concerns of health professionals who provide services for
children and calls for five key actions.
Mental disorders in children and young people are increasing and
represent a hidden epidemic. This has significant implications for
society as whole, both today and in the future. According to the
statement, 1 in 10 under 16s have a diagnosable mental health
disorder, and early-onset mental disorders are more likely to
persist in adult life. A child who experiences a physical
illness is 2-5 times more likely to develop an emotional
The statement identifies five key priorities for
- improving the skills of the health care workforce
- improving the quality of treatment so every child has timely
access to evidence-based treatments
- high quality commissioning and service planning
- a commitment to increasing capacity for mental health
- improving the transition and collaboration between child and
adult mental health services.
The organisations welcome the principles of the
Government's new mental health strategy, No Health Without
Mental Health and its approach to all-age outcome-focused
care. However, concerns persist about affordability and local
commitment to the investment needed to deliver satisfactory early
intervention, care and treatment to children and young people with
mental and emotional health needs.
For further information, please
McLoughlin in the Communications Department.
Telephone: 0203 701 2544 or 07738 349070
The intercollegiate statement, Children and Young People's Mental Health, was published on 2 March 2011