Health Select Committee Report: A Significant Increase in Both Demand for Services and in Self Harm, Complexity and Severity

The Health Select Committee has published a report released yesterday claiming serious and deeply ingrained problems in children’s and adolescents’ mental health services.

The committee, appointed by the House of Commons to examine healthcare, examined the mental health service being provided to children and adolescents. It found issues throughout the mental health system, from early intervention stages to inpatient services.

The report highlights:

  • Early intervention services are invaluable and prevent the need for further treatment later on, however they are having their funding cut or are suffering unstable funding.
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have the power to determine their own priorities but are not giving enough provision to young people; and have frozen or cut their budgets, despite the rising demand for them.

The report goes on to explain in section 9 that;

9. The Chief Medical Officer’s annual report for 2012, published last autumn, highlighted the need for a repeat of the ONS survey; it also cited other evidence suggesting a rise in levels of psychological distress in young people, and in particular increasing rates of self-harm:

Self-harm rates have increased sharply over the past decade, as evidenced by rates of hospital admission and calls to helplines, providing further indications of a possible rise in mental health problems among young people. However, in the absence of up to date epidemiological data, it is uncertain whether there has been a rise in the rates of mental health problems and whether the profile of problems has changed

However in section 12;

12. Observations from CAMHS service providers strongly suggest that they are now operating in a considerably changed environment from the 2004 prevalence data, with many reporting dramatic increases in demand for their services:

Demand continues to increase – 89% of respondents said there had been an increase in referrals over the last 2 years; percentages ranged from 20-70%. Many respondents noted a change in the mix of referrals seeing an increase in self-harm, complexity and severity.

Partnerships are reporting rising numbers of both routine and emergency presentations. Partnerships suggest an average increase of 25% in referrals to CAMHS tiers 2/3 since 2012, possibly due in part to the impact of regional and local cuts on community based services and third sector services.

For the full report click on the link below;

Self harm has become the fastest rising cause of calls for help to the ChildLine advice line

New figures suggest that self harm has become the fastest rising cause of calls for help to the ChildLine advice line with a 68% annual increase. The report suggests that self harm is affecting more younger children, appearing for the first time as a leading concern among 14-year-olds.

To read the full article click here

Harmless talk on Gem fm

Harmless Director Caroline, speaks on local radio station Gem fm this morning about harmless’ work with people who self harm. She discusses the types of issues people are facing with self harm and also how to get help for self harm. Harmless have also been asked to comment on the recent report in the rise of self harm in young people going to hospital for self harm. We hope this is another step forwards in challenging the stigma around self harm and uniting some action to improve services.

NHS statistics suggest dramatic rise in self harm

Today new statistics from the NHS suggest that attendances at hospital for treatment of self harm are on the rise.

Figures from the NHS show there has been a steady rise in the number of under-25s in England admitted to hospital after hurting themselves deliberately over the last 10 years.

Just under 38,000 young people were treated in 2010, compared to 22,555 in 2001.

The Department of Health says it’s working on new training resources aimed at helping those who work with young people to deal with mental health problems.

See the article here, which also suggests that many teaching and healthcare staff still don’t know how best to support someone that is self harming, and the priority need is for increased and improved training resources.

See the articles here: