Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced that the Government will provide £1.25 billion as additional funds for the care of children suffering from mental health problems like self-harm, depression and suicidal thoughts.
To be announced in this week’s budget, the new funding, will mean an extra £250 million a year over the next five years for child and adolescent mental health services, a 35% rise on the £700m currently spent each year on these services.
Mr. Clegg said the money will be used to treat 110,000 more children with conditions like self-harm, depression or anxiety and conduct disorder, with more evidence-based therapies, better trained clinicians and better organized services.
Mr Clegg said at the Liberal Democrats’ spring conference in Liverpool, that there would be an ‘outcry’ if physical problems were left untreated in the way mental health is neglected in children and said the change would bring a ‘seismic shift’ in children’s mental healthcare.
“I have heard, time and again, harrowing stories from young people and their families about how they suffered and their condition deteriorated waiting to get the right treatment for serious mental health problems.
‘There would be a turmoil if a diabetic child was left to cope without support or treatment. But that’s exactly what’s been happening with young people’ mental health services. That’s why I am determined to start a seismic shift to revolutionize mental healthcare for children and end this unacceptable injustice,” Mr Clegg said.
‘By introducing waiting time standards and committing to talking therapies for children in every region, we are helping to build a fairer society where young people can get the right treatment and support they deserve to live a better life.’
‘I am delighted with this investment in what is truly a ground-breaking moment for mental health… Last year I appointed experts to advise on how we can fundamentally modernize children’s mental health services – this funding will be an essential boost to the new proposals, which we will publish shortly,’ Care minister Norman Lamb said.