Number of referrals by schools seeking mental health treatment for pupils has shot up by over a third in the last 3 years.
In a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to NHS Trusts in England, we found that 123,713 referrals were made by schools seeking professional mental health help between 2014/15 and 2017/181.
The request also showed:
- 56% of referrals came from primary schools
- on average 183 referrals were made per school day in 2017/182.
Where information was provided about the outcome of the referral, almost one third were declined specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) treatment (this is based on a subset of the data)3.
Rising demand for mental health support across the NHS, schools and the voluntary sector is placing the system under increased pressure, jeopardising the well-being of thousands of children and young people. Community and voluntary services, such as Childline, are a lifeline to children dealing with mental health issues.
The news follows a Select Committee report 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.”