Record 2,000 children are referred to NHS mental health services EVERY day – twice the number as before the pandemic
- Record-breaking numbers of children are referred to NHS mental health teams
- 190,000 unde-18s were sent for treatment and support from April to June – more than double the number of those seeking support in the years before pandemic
- Royal College of Psychiatrists warn children ‘suffered terribly’ over lockdowns
More than 2,000 children a day are being referred to NHS mental health services – twice the number as before the pandemic.
A record 190,000 under-18s were referred for treatment and support in the three months from April to June, figures show.
In 2019 the figure was 97,342 and last year it fell to 81,170 as many put off seeking support during the height of the pandemic.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) said the data lays bare how ‘children and young people are suffering terribly’ due to the toll of lockdown and school closures.
There has also been a sharp jump in the numbers needing crisis care following an overdose, self-harm or other emergency.
From April to June 8,552 children needed emergency care, up from 5,219 in 2019.
A record 190,000 under-18s were referred for treatment and support in the three months from April to June, figures show. [File picture]
The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) said the data lays bare how ‘children and young people are suffering terribly’ due to the toll of lockdown and school closures
Experts said services risk being overwhelmed by children with depression, anxiety and eating disorders.
The RCP found about 340,694 children are now in contact with mental health services in England, up from 225,480 in June 2019.
It is calling on new Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi to ensure schools offer more support to prevent problems spiralling.
They also want a national network of drop-in clinics to support young people.
Dr Elaine Lockhart, at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: ‘These alarming figures reflect what I and many other frontline psychiatrists are seeing in our clinics on a daily basis.
‘Without investment we run the risk of many more needing crisis help.’
Imran Hussain, at Action for Children, said: ‘Underfunded and overstretched services now face being overwhelmed by a year and a half of lockdowns, fear, anxiety, disruption to education and uncertainty about the future.
‘What the Government does now will shape these children’s lives and future pressures on the NHS. If they get this wrong, the consequences could be disastrous.’