Programmes such as Sure Start and Youth Offending Teams depend in part for their success on close co-operation with services which already operate with unacceptably long waiting lists. And yet these are the services which have the potential to intervene in the depressingly familiar descent by disturbed children and young people into the adult mentally ill, about whom there is rightly so much concern. For example, 90 per cent of recidivist juvenile delinquents had conduct disorder as children. The manifestation of this in adults can be anti-social personality disorder, alcoholism and drug dependence.
Children's mental health needs are different to those of adults, and services are fundamentally different in their approach. We risk losing sight yet again of children's mental health needs if we bury them in a service which is at heart adult-focused.
Director, Young Minds
London EC1Reuse content