Children and young people’s mental health is a top priority of the NHS Long Term Plan. 75% of mental health problems in adult life (excluding dementia) start by the age of 18. Failure to support our youth with mental health needs costs lives and money.
Since 2016, NHS England has committed to increase access to high quality mental health care for children and young people. We are on track to deliver community-based treatment to at least 70,000 additional children and young people each year by 2020/21. And with the Long Term Plan, we aim to give even more of them the mental health support they need, in their community and at school, so that they can achieve their goal in life.
Fabiola experienced psychosis during her childhood and teenage years and was treated in a specialist unit for psychosis.
She explained: “I was hearing things that other people couldn’t. In my teenage years, it got completely out of control. It was during my sleep, it was keeping me up. I started not to care much about what I would do and crossed the road without looking. I wouldn’t eat for days. All because I was so confused in my head.”
After talking to her GP, Fabiola was referred to an Early Intervention in Psychosis Service where she was able to get the support she needed, including talking therapy.
“I was in a very hard place before, where if you asked what I was going to do at the end of the week, month, year, I’d say I have no idea. After having that support, now I’m proud to say what I like, what I don’t like, just simple things. I’m happy with being me.”
Watch this video about children and young people’s mental health
With thanks to the East of England Clinical Network for their support.