Lincolnshire child mental health referrals double

Grant Boone
May 14, 2018

The NSPCC suggests the high number of referrals from primary schools could reflect a lack of funding and services to support children in those settings.

The number of referrals from schools seeking mental health treatment for troubled pupils has shot up in Lincolnshire over the past few years.

Overall, the number of referrals to CAMHS has steadily increased each year since 2014/15, reaching 34,757 in 2017/18 - the equivalent of 183 every school day in England.

In nearly a third of all referrals for which data was available, the child in question was denied specialist CAMHS treatment. It's believed community and voluntary services, such as the helpline, are a lifeline to rejected children.

Mr Howarth said: "Mental ill health in the workplace is a growing issue".

She said the county's CAMHS service did deliver a good service but that waiting lists were too long and by the time children were seen many were at 'crisis point'.

The NSPCC's data, released under the freedom of information act, covers 53 of the 66 health trusts known to provide mental health support to children.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: "Our research shows schools are increasingly referring children for specialist mental health treatment, often when the child is at crisis point".

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Spire FM is joining hundreds of BBC and commercial radio stations around the United Kingdom to broadcast a one-minute message about mental health.

In 2017/18 there were 325 referrals made from county schools for young people in the 12-15 age bracket.

"Eligibility criteria for CAMHS are for young people with mental health difficulties whose symptoms and or impairment are significant, complex and persistent".

The message is to recognise Mental Health Awareness Week during the industry's Radio Audio Week.

"So children are getting less support and the number of learning assistants that provided the pastoral support are being reduced due to school cuts".

Sarah Hannafin, senior policy adviser on mental health and wellbeing for the school leaders' union NAHT, said headteachers were concerned Camhs is setting treatment thresholds too high. "It is vital the government urgently provides more funding to Childline and help children who don't have access to support elsewhere".

Esther Rantzen, the Childline founder and president said: "We must make sure that Childline is adequately funded so it isn't left vulnerable and can be there for the children who have nowhere else to turn".

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said the statistics highlighted the pressures the pressures mental health services are under in England today and the number of referrals from primary schools was "particularly concerning".

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