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Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are under-resourced to the point of refusing patients

08 April 2022

Children and adolescents are frequently being denied support by the under-funded CAMHS service.

Stem4, a youth mental health charity, surveyed over 1,000 General Practitioners (GPs) across the UK.

The survey shows that while CAMHS was struggling before the pandemic, post-COVID it has not been able to recover from the rise in referrals. This has meant that young people in crisis are unable to access the care they need.

The survey found that almost one in five GPs (18%) knows of a patient who has tried to, or taken, their own life after being refused care – often on the justification that their condition was not ‘severe’ enough. Some GPs also said that they no longer refer to CAMHS, and instead signpost children to A&E, as they’re certain any referrals they make will be refused.

DR UK Policy and Campaigns Officer Bethany Bale said: “Mental health services in the UK are already only built for those at crisis point, and now they’re unable to even support those needing the most urgent care. This is utterly negligent, and prioritising funding for young people’s mental health services is essential.”

The full article can be found on the Guardian, as can the contact details for the Samaritans.