England is “in the throes of a mental health crisis” because of the lockdowns, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and those under 18 “pay the price.” The number of children being treated for eating disorders has reached record levels, as has the number of people reporting being alone. Here are the main conclusions:
~ 80,226 more children and youth were referred to CYP mental health services between April and December last year, up 28% from 2019, to 372,438.
~ 600,628 additional treatment sessions were provided to children and youth, an increase of one-fifth from 2019 to 3.58 million.
~ 18,269 children and youth needed urgent or emergency crisis care – including assessments to see if a person needs to be severed because they or others are in danger – an 18% increase from compared to 2019, to 18269.
The data on adults is just as grim.
Over one million additional treatment sessions were given to adults between April and December of last year (1,078,539), an 8% increase from 2019. There were also 159,347 referrals emergencies for adults, a record high and a 2% increase in 2019.
In November, the government announced a £ 500million support package for mental health services to help the country recover from the lockdown. The RCPsych called for this funding – which includes £ 79million for children – to reach the front lines as soon as possible. College President Dr Adrian James says services are at “a very real risk of being overwhelmed” because of the scale of the mental health crisis.
“The scale of the mental health crisis is terrifying, but it will likely get much worse before it gets better.
“Services are at a very real risk of being overrun by the large number of people who need help with their mental illness.
“While the recent funding announcement is welcome, we need this money to reach mental health services as soon as possible to deal with this crisis.”
The president of the college’s faculty of child and adolescent psychiatry added that services were already struggling before Covid hit and queues for treatment are now even larger due to the impact of school closures and denial of social contact.
“Our children and youth are the most affected by the mental health crisis caused by the pandemic and are at risk of suffering from mental illnesses for life.
“As a frontline psychiatrist, I have seen the devastating effect of school closings, the breakdown of friendships and the uncertainty the pandemic has caused on the mental health of our children and youth.
“Services were already struggling to keep up with the number of children needing help before the pandemic struck, and they are at risk of being overwhelmed unless the government ensures that the pledged money quickly reaches the end of the spectrum. front line.”
Worth reading in its entirety.
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