PoliticsHome's investigation into CAMHS reaffirms what those working within mental health provision for children and young people already know; that waiting lists are skyrocketing, and that the threshold children and young people need to reach in order to be offered support is eye-wateringly high.
The National Counselling Society are calling on the Government and Commissioners to recognise the workforce available in counsellors and psychotherapists. With upwards of 60,000 practitioners on Accredited Registers across the UK, 82% of which have a waiting time to first appointment of 1-2 weeks, they could drastically cut waiting times for mental health support, and empower children and young people to engage more directly in their own care by giving them a choice of practitioner and a choice of the type of therapy that would work best for them.
Our report, which also outlines our plan for direct access to counselling via Accredited Registers, has been included as evidence in the Public Accounts Committee inquiry on Progress Improving Mental Health Services, and we're hopeful that our recommendations will be fully considered.
Meg Moss, Head of Policy & Public Affairs, notes that "there is a complete lack of joined-up thinking when it comes to mental health services, and especially services for children and young people. There is a huge and diverse workforce available to ameliorate the waiting list issue, and the issues around lack of choice and availability of different therapies. We know that early intervention is hugely beneficial when you look at someone's mental health story; we hear time and time again that if only they'd seen someone earlier on, they wouldn't have reached crisis point. We're letting our children and young people down right now, and even more so knowing that there's a way to improve things (by calling on the trained, ethical, insured, supervised practitioners around the whole of the UK) and doing nothing about it."