A report from the Children’s Commissioner states that “low-level” mental health services available for children in parts of England are not sufficient.
“Low-level” mental health services consist of preventative measures for children suffering with issues such as anxiety, depression or eating disorders, before they reach crisis point.
Chief executive of children’s mental health charity YoungMinds, Emma Thomas, said: “While extra money for specialist NHS services is of course welcome, it’s better for everyone if young people can get help before their needs escalate or they hit crisis point.”
Between 2016/17 and 2018/19, spending on low-level services across all of England increased by 17 per cent in real terms. However, nearly 60 per cent of local authorities across the country saw a real terms fall in spending.
The children’s commissioner’s report shows that the top 25 per cent of local areas in England spent at least £1.1 million on low-level services for children, while the bottom 25 per cent spent a maximum of £180,000.
Thomas said: “We need to end the postcode lottery in spending, and we need local services to work together more effectively.”