May 27, 2018

Lincolnshire child mental health referrals double

14 May 2018, 09:15 | Lena Norman

Ella Lane is a Grade 10 student at Claremont Secondary School

Ella Lane is a Grade 10 student at Claremont Secondary School

The county's schools have referred 1,782 pupils to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) since 2014, with 904 of those referrals concerning pupils aged 11 and under.

More than half (55%) of referrals over the four-year period came from primary schools.

Chris O'Sullivan, head of workplace at the Mental Health Foundation, said: "During this year's Mental Health Awareness Week we're focusing on stress".

The CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Wellbeing at Work report also revealed that mental ill-health was now the main cause of long-term absence in more than a fifth of United Kingdom organisations (22 per cent) and that stress-related absence had increased over the past year in more than a third (37 per cent) of businesses.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive, said, 'Our research shows schools are increasingly referring children for specialist mental health treatment, often when the child is at crisis point'. It is vital that Government urgently provides more funding to Childline and help children who don't have access to support elsewhere'.

She said the county's CAMHS service did deliver a good service but that waiting lists were too long and by the time children were seen many were at 'crisis point'. 'As professionals who work closely with local authorities we are aware of widespread cuts to behavioural support in the educational sector, leaving schools exposed and unsupported.

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The news follows a damning Select Committees report from last week, which found that the Government's £300m plans to improve mental health provision for children "lacks ambition and will provide no help to the majority of children who desperately need it".

"These arrangements have been well received by schools and therefore, as a result of this, we are seeing a high level of referrals from schools".

Phil Constantine, operations director at Leeds-based Vickers Laboratories, and Gavin Howarth, managing director at Howarths People & Safety Management in Cleckheaton, are calling for businesses to be aware of the negative impact that failing to equip senior leadership teams and managers with skills to identify and address mental health issues in the workplace could have.

Almost three out of five (57 per cent) of those who said a colleague or employee had spoken to them about a mental health issue were "glad they could confide in me", but one in four admitted they felt uninformed, 21 per cent said they felt embarrassed and a further 17 per cent did not feel equipped to know what to do or say.

The study also revealed that only one in five companies used mental health first aid training and other well-known interventions.

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