Equality for mental health

We're calling for more support for young people with mental health issues

MegaphoneToday we join a coalition of charities, celebrities, MPs, and academics calling on the Government to increase investment into mental health services – giving mental health equality with physical health.

75% of children and young people experiencing a mental health problem are thought to not access any treatment. And of those young people who need support, we're specifically worried about those who have suffered abuse or neglect.

Last year, around 5,000 abused children whose mental health was suffering as a result of their horrific experiences called ChildLine. More and more children are telling us about problems accessing services.

Children missing out on vital support

Only last month we highlighted a time bomb of serious mental health problems due to large numbers of children who have been abused not getting support through local NHS mental health services.

The damage caused by abuse can be wide-ranging and impact on almost every aspect of a victim’s life. While some effects are almost immediate, others may take longer to materialise. 

One study found that those sexually abused in childhood were more than twice as likely to consider committing suicide in later life.

Apart from the impact on individual children there is also a potential impact on society if mental ill health is not treated and problems persist into adult life. Some estimates put this cost as high as £100bn a year, spent on visits to A&E, lost jobs, unemployment benefits, homelessness support, police time and even prison places.

Government must act to defuse mental health time bomb

It doesn’t need to be like this. Every day we are in contact with children whose lives are being turned around.

We think it is essential that children get the right sort of trauma-based therapeutic support early on in their difficult journey – so they can successfully move forward and re-build their childhood before chronic conditions take root.

Now that more and more victims of abuse are coming forward it has never been more urgent for the Government to increase the capacity of therapeutic services that are able to help abused children.

We must see improvements in access to child friendly trauma-based support that meet their needs, when they need it, and help them recover wherever they live.

Failing to act risks creating a time bomb of mental health problems in the years to come.