Family doctors fear a mental health scandal waiting to happen
The Observer, Sunday 16th May 2016
One in 12 UK teenagers self-harms and one in 10 is clinically depressed, yet still the NHS allocates only 11% of its budget to mental health services
Most GPs think mental health services for young people are inadequate, with nine in 10 fearing that children in their care could come to harm while waiting for specialist treatment.
Those are the worrying key findings from a survey for stem4, the charity I set up to support teenagers with mental health problems. Under pressure to achieve efficiencies, and with a reduced specialist workforce, mental health providers are applying increasingly strict criteria for access to their services.
Let’s think about what that might mean. You’re 16 and going through a tough time. At school you’re worried because your performance in pending exams determines your chances of getting to university, or to succeed in a ruthlessly tough job market…
Dr Nihara Krause is a consultant clinical psychologist and founder of stem4 mental health charity.