LGA responds to BMJ report on children’s mental health services

"While the Government’s recent funding boost for mental health support for children and young people is a positive step, it is vital that mental health needs are at the heart of our overall approach to health and wellbeing," 


girl in white dress holding white bear plush toy

Responding to a report by the British Medical Journal which says that children’s mental health services in the UK were “deteriorating” before the pandemic, Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said: 

“The pandemic has exacerbated existing child mental health problems but even before this, the number of children referred to mental health services soared by nearly 60 per cent between 2017/18 and 2019/20. Children’s health professionals expect a surge in these referrals now schools have reopened. 

“While the Government’s recent funding boost for mental health support for children and young people is a positive step, it is vital that mental health needs are at the heart of our overall approach to health and wellbeing, including investment in community-based services, such as youth services. 

“It is essential that effective and evidence-based mental health and wellbeing services and statutory mental health services for children are able to meet existing, new and unmet demand that has built up during the pandemic to support children and young people to thrive and overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19. The situation must be kept under review going forward to assess any further support needs that may arise.”

Notes to Editors