Record number of children referred for specialist mental health care during the pandemic
A record number of children have been referred for specialist care for the most serious mental health problems during the pandemic.
Between April 2021 and October 2021, the number of children aged under 18 needing care for issues ranging from self-harm to eating disorders had increased by 77% compared to the same period in 2019.
According to NHS data was analysed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists for BBC News, some 409,347 children required help.
By the end of October 2021, there were nearly 350,000 under-18s in touch with NHS child and adolescent psychiatric teams – the largest number on number.
It comes after a joint-survey conducted by the children’s mental health charity Place2Be and the National Association of Head Teachers found an increase in emotional and mental issues among pupils since the pandemic.
Of the more than 1,000 teachers and support staff surveyed, “almost all” described seeing a rise in the children experiencing issues.
The Government has since promised an extra £79m for improving mental health support in England, which will include 400 support teams by 2023, but the charity Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition has warned this will only cover about a third of England’s pupils.
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