“These startling figures demonstrate the urgent need to invest new substantial money into children’s services, which face a £3 billion funding gap by 2025 just to maintain current levels of service."
Responding to an NHS Digital survey of children and young people’s mental health, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, said:
“These startling figures demonstrate the urgent need to invest new substantial money into children’s services, which face a £3 billion funding gap by 2025 just to maintain current levels of service.
“Councils are pulling out all the stops to give children and young people the support they need, but worryingly, as a result of funding reductions, many councils are being forced to cut vital early intervention work which helps children avoid reaching crisis point.
“We need a complete overhaul of children’s mental health services, and for the NHS to work with councils to develop a system that says yes, rather than no, to children when they ask for help.
“Councils and schools need to be given funding to offer independent mental health counselling so children have access to support as and when they need it.
“Government promised £1.7 billion for children’s mental health, and it should make certain all of this is received by children’s mental health services, and not diverted elsewhere. Where it has been spent on other services, government should make up the shortfall.
“In addition, we need to see a reversal of the cuts to public health funding, which also provide services that help young people get the best start in life.”
Helping children and young people to fulfil their potential is a key ambition of all councils, but our children’s services are under increasing pressure.
Our Bright Futures campaign for children and young people’s mental health is calling on Government to fully fund the services that change children’s lives.
Councils’ public health grants have been cut by nearly £600 million between 2015/16 and 2019/20.