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Call for evidence on children’s mental health services

The Health and Social Care Committee has launched an inquiry into the progress made by the government on its pledge to improve mental health services for children and young people.

It will also consider the case for wider reforms to prioritise early intervention and prevention against increasing rates of self-harm and suicide.

The Children and Young People’s Mental Health inquiry will consider measures set out by the government in its 2017 green paper to transform the provision of services and ask how much has been achieved.

The Committee said it will give specific focus to progress on mental health support provision in schools, support on eating disorders and how services are accessed, including the ambition to cut the time taken to receive treatment.

It will also examine the use of suicide prevention measures to lower rates among young people. Improvements to inpatient care and how to reduce the use of physical and medical restraints will also be considered.

Health and Social Care Committee chair Jeremy Hunt said: ‘How to support young people when they face a mental health crisis can never have been more of a priority than now.

‘Three years ago, as health secretary, I initiated reforms of the mental health services offered to children and young people.

‘This Committee’s inquiry will examine progress made against those ambitions, such as improving access to services and the provision of mental health support in schools.

‘We will be considering the case for wider change to prioritise early intervention, and for those who need inpatient care, looking at how the stress can be reduced.

‘Crucially, we will ask what more can be done to reduce the growing numbers who turn to self-harm or suicide.’

The Committee invites written submissions addressing any, or all, of the following points:

  • What progress have the government made on children and young people’s mental health, including but not limited to:
    • The ambitions laid out in the 2017 Green Paper.
    • Provision of mental health support in schools.
    • Provision of support for young people with eating disorders.
    • Addressing capacity and training issues in the mental health workforce.
    • Improving access to mental health services.
  • How inpatient care can be improved so that it is not creating additional stress on children and young people, and how the use of physical and medical restraint can be reduced.
  • The wider changes needed in the system as a whole, and to what extent it should be reformed in favour of a model that focuses on early intervention in children and young people’s mental health to prevent more severe illness developing.
  • How the government can learn from examples of best practice, including from other countries?
  • What measures are needed to tackle increasing rates of self-harming and suicide among children and young people?

Evidence should be submitted by 5pm on February 26.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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