ASCL comment on EPI report on CAMHS

10/01/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the report by the Education Policy Institute Access to child and adolescent mental health services in 2019.
 
Commenting on the report by the Education Policy Institute Access to child and adolescent mental health services in 2019, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

This report confirms what schools know only too well – that thresholds for children’s mental health services are often too high and waiting lists too long. It is an appalling postcode lottery which leaves schools struggling to secure the specialist help needed by young people suffering from serious mental health illnesses.

The government has outlined plans for a four-week waiting time for access to children’s mental health services, but the findings of this report suggest this is a pipe dream without significant additional investment

In the meantime, the government is also creating new mental health teams to support counselling services in schools, which is a welcome move but does not address the deficiency in access to clinical treatment.

School counselling services, however good, cannot possibly provide the level of support which is required to treat young people with clinical needs. It is imperative that the government puts more focus into improving the availability of specialist NHS care as a matter of urgency.