The Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP), has launched a report, ‘Silent Catastrophe’, which highlights that children and young people with the most severe and long-standing needs are being failed by NHS child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), as specialist services disappear and it becomes increasingly hard to provide effective care and treatment. The report aims to offer ways of working towards better services that meet the needs of all children and young people.

The ACP is calling for a renewal of mental health care and treatment for children and young people through a whole system response including public health and treatment components.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, commented:

“The Institute of Health Visiting is delighted to support the Silent Catastrophe report call for action to renew high quality, safe and effective services for children, young people and their families.  In particular, the need to invest more into public health interventions to stop children slipping through the net until they require expensive and often long term therapy. This should reduce the current pressure on these services and makes clear economic sense.”

ACP calls for early intervention in the community as well as access to highly trained clinicians, working in multi-disciplinary teams, who have the skills and experience to respond to the complexity of emotional, behavioural and developmental difficulties that many children, young people and families are experiencing in 2018. They say that more funding is needed but there may be scope to do better even with existing levels as the report shows that the way some services have been re-designed can be ineffective in cost terms, as well as in outcomes for children and young people.