Anne Longfield OBE, Children’s Commissioner for England, has publicly challenged Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England for trying to denigrate findings from research about children’s inability to access mental health support. She suggests Stevens has sought to ignore the reality of children’s experiences and the frustrations of their parents.
Publication of the research coincided with World Mental Health Day last week. In her foreword Anne states:
I’m very concerned that children’s inability to access mental health support leads to a whole range of additional problems, from school exclusions to care placements breaking down to children ending up in the youth justice system. I believe many of these problems could be prevented if children had access to mental health support when they need it. As this briefing shows, early intervention is cost effective – but is currently a postcode lottery of fragmented support depending almost entirely on where a child grows up and which school they attend.
The National IRO Managers Partnership will be discussing children’s mental health support and stability needs with officers from Anne Longfield’s team on 19th October at the Department for Education.
Read Anne Longfield’s letter to Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England here