Responding to a report by the Children’s Commissioner calling for greater prioritisation of children and young people’s mental health services, Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive, Centre for Mental Health, said:

“The Children’s Commissioner’s report highlights concern about the wide variations in spending and support across the country for children and young people struggling with their mental health. These findings demonstrate the need for greater accountability to ensure that provision is based on a child’s need, not their postcode.

We must also consider the needs of the workforce in addressing these issues to ensure that professionals are properly equipped to effectively meet the needs of young people. We agree with the Commissioner that the transformation of children and young people’s mental health services needs to be delivered at pace, but this must be underpinned by a clear and realistic strategy for building a growing and sustainable workforce.

While we welcome the Government’s ongoing programme on mental health in schools and the NHS Long Term Plan, it is clear that a more joined-up vision and plan is needed on the overall offer of children and young people’s mental health support across the 0-25 years age range.

We back the Commissioner’s call for the next Spending Review being used as an opportunity to prioritise children and young people’s mental health. It’s also vital that we invest in prevention and early intervention support for children and their families, including in educational settings.”