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Stop underfunding CAMHS, UN commissioners urge government


2 July 2015

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Government must stop “vastly underfunding” mental health services for children and young people (CAMHS), all four UK Children’s Commissioners said.

They said this is a wider problem, as preventative services in general have been cut by austerity measures, but are particularly concerned about the mental health of young people.

Government must stop “vastly underfunding” mental health services for children and young people (CAMHS), all four UK Children’s Commissioners said.

They said this is a wider problem, as preventative services in general have been cut by austerity measures, but are particularly concerned about the mental health of young people.

This comes in light of the Budget announcement next week, where they expect more than £12bn of welfare cuts to be announced, which they said will push more children into poverty.

Sally Holland, children’s commissioner for Wales, said: “Demand for CAMHS services is increasing to the point where the system itself is overwhelmed. This vastly underfunded service is leading to children and young people receiving unequal service; there’s a lack of crisis access, they’re facing long waiting times and some vulnerable children are being treated on adult psychiatric wards.

“We are particularly concerned about those at greatest risk, including disabled children, children deprived of parental care and those who have been affected by abuse and neglect. We need adequate funding but also investment in universal preventative and early intervention children’s service to curb the increase in mental ill health among children,” she said.

The four children's commissioners have a statutory duty to promote and protect the rights of all children in their UK country in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The first post was established by the Children Act 2004 and their remit was strengthened through the Children and Families Act 2014

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