YoungMinds urges local authorities to protect children and adolescent mental health services
YoungMinds the UK’s leading children and young people’s mental health charity has written to every Council Leader in England urging them to protect Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services Budgets and highlighting the financial case for investment in early intervention services.
A survey carried out by YoungMinds last year revealed that half of local authorities cut their budgets for children and young people’s mental health services for 2011/2012. YoungMinds action comes ahead of the final round of local government budget setting meetings for 2012/2013 which will be held in March.
Lucie Russell Director of Campaigns, Press and Participation, YoungMinds said:
“Our cuts survey last year revealed a deeply disturbing picture of cutbacks to children and young people’s mental health services. At a time when the Government’s focus is on early intervention our analysis reveals it is these services that are most likely to be cut at a local level.
“The benefits of early intervention are clear, not only is it good for a child or young person’s wellbeing it is also financially prudent for those commissioners as well. By investing in cheaper early intervention services commissioners can avoid much more expensive care when mental illness becomes more entrenched.
“The next month is a crucial decision time for councils across the country, will they invest in children and young people’s mental health or will they take a dangerous short-term approach of cutting now and reaping the negative affects at a later date?”
Notes to editors:
- For further information and to arrange interviews please contact Chris Leaman on 020 7089 5066 or 07813 810114 email
- YoungMinds is the UK’s leading children’s mental health charity committed to improving the mental health and emotional well-being of children and empowering their parents and carers. For further information go to www.youngminds.org.uk
- Last year’s survey by YoungMinds revealed that the biggest cuts were in local authorities, with some slashing up to 25% from their budgets. A quarter of those who responded said funding would remain the same but some added they would be forced to abandon plans to develop and improve services. Another 20% also said they would lose posts.
- Full copy of YoungMinds Cuts Briefing is available here http://www.youngminds.org.uk/assets/0000/1364/CAMHS_cuts_briefing_draft__3.doc
YoungMinds Parents helpline: 0808 802 5544
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