The country’s leading anxiety disorders charity, Anxiety UK, is backing calls from the children and young people’s mental health charity YoungMinds, for local authorities to ensure that local services work as one system with joint commissioning and joined up delivery.
It follows the publication of a survey of local authorities by YoungMinds that found that two-thirds of local authorities have cut their budgets for children and young people’s mental health services (CAMHS) since the coalition government came to power in 2010.
Three children in every classroom has a diagnosable mental health problem and Anxiety UK share YoungMinds concerns that cuts by local authorities to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services will hit these children hard
Anxiety UK also say the cuts to frontline budgets threatens to undermine the aims of the Government’s Mental Health Strategy that promotes early intervention.
Anxiety UK CEO Nicky Lidbetter said: “We share the concerns of YoungMinds that the scaling back on mental health support by local authorities will only lead to greater problems longer term resulting in more complex and more expensive treatments if early interventions are not provided.
“We need to see a much more joined up approach between local and central government in order for health policy to be successfully delivered without jeopardising the mental health needs of young people and other anxiety sufferers.”
Anxiety UK’s Young Ambassador, 17-year old aspiring racing driver Cameron Twynham, added: “As someone who has suffered from anxiety since I was 14 years old I understand how important it is to get the right support as soon as possible.
“Not all young people will be as fortunate as I was in being able to access private medical help, without the right mechanisms in place to help them many young people may not get the help they desperately need.”
Notes to Editors
1. Anxiety UK is a user-led charity with more than forty years’ experience in supporting those living with anxiety. The charity has a range of resources aimed at children & young people living with anxiety as well as for schools and parents. For more information visit www.anxietyuk.org.uk
2. YoungMinds asked all ‘top tier’ local authorities via the Freedom of Information Act for their Children and Adolescent Mental Health budgets for 2010/2011, 2011/2012 and 2012/2013.
3. The Foreword to the Government’s Mental Health Strategy ‘No Health without Mental Health was published in February 2011 and states: “By promoting good mental health and intervening early, particularly in the crucial childhood and teenage years, we can help to prevent mental illness from developing and mitigate its effects when it does.” http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_124058.pdf