Press release: NHS focus on children in 2009, must include mental health, says YoungMinds

YoungMinds welcomes the focus on children outlined in yesterdays NHS operating framework, but warns that the NHS must look at both children’s physical and mental health. There can be no health without mental health.

The report also draws attention to improving Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) by evaluating their effectiveness to ensure vulnerable children have swift and easy access. We support such measures and believe that that routine evaluation and measuring outcomes helps to ensure services meet children’s needs.

Paula Lavis, YoungMinds Policy and Knowledge Manager said:  “Early intervention is a key theme emerging from the report. Projects identified such as  the implementation of a high quality Healthy Child programmes, a scheme to promote the well being of children in their early years, as a way to improve children and young people’s mental health, can help tackle problems earlier, and stop them escalating to serious and entrenched mental problems.

“There has been a serious increase over the last 25 years of children with mental illness. Currently one in ten children and young people have serious mental health problems in the UK.  Early intervention programmes such as Healthy Child will help to address this.

 “Promoting the Healthy Child programme also fits in with a wider drive from government to promote mental health and wellbeing in schools and across children’s services. Children’s mental health, it seems is not just a priority for the NHS in 2009, but all children’s services.  Forthcoming initiatives include: NICE guidance promoting young people’s social and emotional well being in secondary education expected in July 2009; Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL), which promotes a whole-school approach to promoting social and emotional skills to be rolled out in Secondary Schools; Targeted Mental Health in Schools (TAMHS) projects, which provide targeted support in schools for children and young people at risk of/or experiencing mental health problems; and a consultation announced last week, 21st Century schools from the Department for Schools Children and Families, which proposes a clear national framework for early intervention  to meet children’s needs.”

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