October comment from Cllr Howard Sykes, LGA Lib Dem Group Leader

Ministers, and us all, need to address the “crisis in children’s mental health” after a Children’s Society report revealed recently that around one in four 14-year-old girls self-harm, a figure I find horrifying - especially as a father of two girls.


Children self-harming figures are horrifying

Ministers, and us all, need to address the “crisis in children’s mental health” after a Children’s Society report revealed recently that around one in four 14-year-old girls self-harm, a figure I find horrifying - especially as a father of two girls.

The charity’s annual Good Childhood Report, which examines the state of children’s well-being in the UK, found that out of the 11,000 children surveyed one in six reported self-harming at 14.

One young person told the charity: “I felt like self-harming was what I wanted to do and had to do as there was nothing else I could do. I think there is help for young people but not the right kind of help”.

“Feeling not pretty enough or good enough as other girls did contribute towards my self-harming, however, I don’t feel just being a girl is the reason as I think boys feel the same way too.”

Councils across the country work hard to ensure children and young people can access the support they need, however with children’s services facing a £3 billion funding gap by 2025, with youth and mental health services suffering. 
 
Many of our councils are being forced to cut early intervention work, including youth services, which helps children avoid reaching crisis point. 

Government should release the £1.7 billion promised for CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services)  as a matter of urgency.  It is scandal every day they do not!