“Thank you for contacting me about the provision of mental health services for children and young people.
It is incredibly important to protect and support the health of children and young people in our society. In recent years, we have made huge progress in understanding mental health issues, and I support efforts to transform children and young people’s mental health for the better. Approximately 10 per cent of 5 to 16 year olds have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem and, since 2015, an additional £1.4 billion has been invested to transform the mental health services available to children and young people.
Furthermore, the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper sets out ambitious proposals to improve mental health services for children and young people, together with over £300 million of funding. This will incentivise and support schools and colleges to train designated leaders for their pupils’ mental health, and introduce new mental health teams, both of which will ease pressure on NHS mental health services.
More broadly, the NHS Long Term Plan makes a commitment to offering children and young people the best start in life. As part of this, there is an additional commitment to deliver on the promises made in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health so that, by 2023/2024, at least an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 will be able to access support via NHS funded mental health services and school or college-based Mental Health Support Teams. In particular, I welcome the Secretary of State's announcement that £79 million from the additional £500 million for mental health announced at the 2021 Spending Review will be allocated to accelerate the commitment to expand these services.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this important issue, and I will continue to keep a close eye on related developments to it.
Sally-Ann Hart MP