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UK Children’s Mental Health Services Severely Underfunded

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The Local Government Association (LGA) which represents almost 400 councils in England and Wales has raised concern over gaps in mental health care for children, which often result from funding problems, The Guardian reports.

MOSCOW (August 13) RIA Novosti – The Local Government Association (LGA) which represents almost 400 councils in England and Wales has raised concern over gaps in mental health care for children, which often result from funding problems, The Guardian reports.

"Every day we hear from parents, through YoungMinds Parents' Helpline, desperate for help for their child. They either cannot access services or they are stuck for months on a waiting list. Clinicians tell us that their services are at breaking point,” the CEO of the YoungMinds mental health charity Sarah Brennan said in a statement published Wednesday.

YoungMinds research recently revealed that 60 percent of council’s had cut or frozen their budgets for children and young people’s mental health since 2010.

“The consequences of these cuts with reports of children and young people with mental illnesses ending up in police cells, being transferred hundreds of miles away or placed on inappropriate adult wards, because there haven’t been the beds available [sic],” Sarah Brennan added, while commenting on the LGA statement on children’s mental health services.

As council leaders call for an overhaul of the system, LGA Chairman David Simmonds said that the system needs to be properly funded, resourced and “joined-up to ensure young people receive the best services available.”

Another challenge that requires attention is the complexity of the system, which is difficult for families to understand, often resulting in them going through multiple mental health organizations to access care.

"Local authorities still have serious concerns about mental health funding for children and want a complete overhaul of the fragmented and complex system that they currently face each day when trying to access services delivered by the NHS and other partners,” Simmonds said in a report published Wednesday by The Guardian.

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