Thousands of young people attempt suicide waiting for NHS mental health treatment, study finds

Posted: 22nd July 2022

Thousands of young people have attempted suicide while waiting for mental health treatment on the NHS, a charity has warned.

A quarter (26%) of the 14,000 children and young people surveyed by YoungMinds had tried to take their own life as a result of having to wait for help.

Meanwhile, the Royal College of Psychiatrists said services are at “crisis point”, with waiting lists at record highs.

More than four in 10 (44%) children and young people aged 25 said they had waited more than a month for mental health support after seeking it and 9% said they were turned away.

More than half (58%) also said their mental health got worse while they were waiting for help.

The most recent NHS data shows 66,389 young people aged 19 and under were referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in April, a 109% rise compared to the same month pre-pandemic.

Some 11,878 youngsters aged 10 to 14 also took antidepressants in 2021/22, NHS data shows, as did 180,455 aged 15 to 19.

This is up from 10,994 and 166,922 the previous year (covering the first year of the pandemic).

The poll for YoungMinds also found 37% of young people did not feel supported by their GP when they tried to access mental health support or advice.

And more than two-thirds (71%) had problems with their relationships with family and friends as a result of having to wait for treatment.

YoungMinds has launched an End The Wait campaign, calling on the government to end the “crisis” in young people’s mental health.

The results of the YoungMind research have been shared with the government as part of its call for evidence for a 10-year mental health plan.

The charity says it fears the plan could be in jeopardy as Tory leader candidates have yet to commit to it.

Emma Thomas, chief executive of YoungMinds, said: “These numbers paint a shocking picture of the situation young people in this country face when it comes to their mental health.

“We have also seen this reflected in calls to our parents’ helpline, with an increasing number of people saying their child has attempted to take their own life and still isn’t receiving the right care.

“For years, politicians have promised that they will get a grip of the situation, including a recent commitment to a 10-year plan.

“But the reality is that with every month of inaction, things are getting rapidly worse for young people.”

 

Source: itv news

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