The state of children's mental health services, Children's Commissioner. 2020.

School counselling key in mental health battle says Children's Commissioner

02 March 2020
Volume 1 · Issue 1


The children's commissioner wants to see more funding and incentives for in-school counselling and other low-level mental health support

Depending on where they live, children suffering from mental health problems face waiting times of up to four months for treatment—with one in three nationally not getting the help they need.

The state of children's mental health services, a report from Anne Longfield, England's children's commissioner, says some progress has been made but that mental health provision is still the ‘poor relation’ of NHS services, with a postcode lottery compounding problems.

Mental health spending per-child varies wildly by NHS area—from as much as £191 to as little as £14—and the report warns that a significant number of children are missing out on treatment.

It says that low-level support in the community, such as school-based counselling, can play a crucial role but that coverage remains variable.

NHS figures from 2017 show that 12.8% of children and young people aged five to 19 have at least one mental health disorder—this equates to more than one million children.

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