One in four children turned away by mental health services

Children’s mental health services are struggling to cope with a rise in demand and are turning away as many as one in four young people referred for support, a report has found. A report by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) found that the number of referrals to specialist children’s mental health services has risen by 26 per cent over the last five years. Rejection rates were also found to be high and have not improved over the last five years, with 24.2 per cent of children referred for support being turned away. The EPI estimates that at least 55,800 children were turned away for treatment in 2017/18 but the figure could be higher as a number of providers failed to disclose referral numbers to the think-tank’s researchers. The report, based on Freedom of Information Act responses from 54 child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) providers, and 111 councils, found that the main reason that referred children are being turned away is because their condition does not meet providers’ threshold for support. Read more.