The postcode lottery over youth mental health services is a disgrace

Schools – with budgets falling and demands on their efforts increasing – are struggling to help their students. Things need to change, writes Ed Dorrell

Monday 01 November 2021 14:22
<p>‘Schools and teachers to be given the training, funding and staffing (ideally in the form of counsellors) to help their students’ </p>

‘Schools and teachers to be given the training, funding and staffing (ideally in the form of counsellors) to help their students’

It’s really difficult until they’re at crisis point, and by then it’s too late. We’ve got quite a few kids who, until they’ve actually made an attempt at their own life, we had struggled to get access [to professional help]. If they’d got the support a lot earlier, they wouldn’t have got to that point.”

This is the state of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in this country, according to one secondary teacher in a recent focus group I was overseeing.

It was not, sadly an isolated story. Time and again the recently founded Coalition for Mental Health in Schools has heard similar stories; some less shocking, many more so.

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