Professor Sir Simon Wessely, President of the RCPsych responds to the PM's speech

Press release
09 January 2017
Sir Simon Wessely, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:

“I warmly welcome the Prime Minister’s bold, new vision for mental health – nothing less than a fundamental transformation of how we deal with mental health problems.

She is right to focus on the importance of early years in shaping later mental health, and helping teachers to support troubled children must be the right thing. “Her commitment to proper trials to look at how to strengthen the links between schools and local NHS mental health staff confirms that she accepts the importance of proceeding on the basis of sound evidence.

But the biggest challenge she faces is ensuring the £1.4bn pledged to child and adolescent mental health services actually reaches the frontline – which has not happened yet.

We know that at least 350 more child and adolescent psychiatrists are needed just to deliver what the government has already promised for CAMHS and there is a long way to go before mental and physical health services are on an equal footing.”

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