£22 million for ground-breaking children’s mental health programme

Up to £22m will be pumped into a pioneering programme to give children with mental health problems access to the best available services in a wider range of places. The new investment in the Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) project will be spent over the next three years to expand state-of-the-art psychological therapies and extend training for people working with youngsters outside of health settings, such as in schools or youth groups.

Mental health problems
One in ten children aged 5-16 years has a clinically diagnosable mental health problem and, of adults with long-term mental health problems, half will have experienced their first symptoms before the age of 14. Self-harming and substance abuse are known to be much more common in children and young people with mental health disorders – with ten per cent of 15-16 year olds having self-harmed.

Early diagniosis
Failure to treat mental health disorders in children can have a devastating impact on their future, resulting in reduced job and life expectations. Encouraging people to be open about mental illness and extending available therapies will help to ensure intervention is available at the earliest opportunity giving young people the best chances in life.

Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said:

“We broke new ground last year investing in children’s mental health – this additional funding will help deliver services specific to young people. We’re working with young people and staff to start to change the way mental health is delivered by the NHS.”