NHS cancelled 175,000 mental health appointments for youngsters, says charity

A charity is calling for greater focus on mental health treatment after figures suggest the NHS cancelled 175,000 appointments for children and young people in the past year.

Mental health charity Mind has revealed data indicating a 25% increase in the number of cancelled or postponed appointments for young people accessing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

The data suggests 175,094 appointments were cancelled or postponed by the NHS service between August 2018 and July 2019 compared to 140,327 in the same period the year before.

Mind said the figures were taken from the NHS Digital Mental Health Services Data Set, with the charity calling on the Government to tackle the “massive strain” NHS services are under.

The charity’s head of policy and campaigns Vicki Nash said young people should receive support as early as possible.

“We know services are struggling to cope with the increasing numbers of people needing help but no young person should face being stood up by the NHS,” Ms Nash said in a statement.

“With so many young people affected, this is rapidly becoming one of the major challenges our society faces.

“The next UK government must ensure that the progress made over the last few years is not lost, in order to ensure that all young people get the right care, in the right place, at the right time.”

The figures come at the start of Anti-Bullying Week in the UK which runs from Monday until Friday.

The campaign aims to inform schools, children, parents and carers about taking collective responsibility to stop bullying.

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