Research News

Children wait a decade for mental health support, report finds

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i3199 (Published 08 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3199
  1. Helen Mooney
  1. London

Children and young people with mental health difficulties are forced to wait an average of 10 years between first becoming unwell and getting help, a report has found.1

An evidence review by the Centre for Mental Health charity found that only a quarter of school age children with a diagnosable problem received any intervention at all despite most parents of these children seeking professional advice. And it warned that, when children and families do seek help, they are “frequently confused by a maze of largely fragmented services and often face lengthy delays to get the help they need.”

The review found a “very mixed and confusing picture” of the current state of children and of young people’s mental health over time. “Increases in distress and …

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