Assembly Committee has serious concerns about services for young people with mental health problems in Wales

Ina report published today, the Children, Young People and Education Committee atthe National Assembly has raised serious concerns about services for youngpeople with mental health problems in Wales. These concerns were raised inresponse to evidence from young people and their parents during the Committee’sinquiry into Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). 

The inquiry concludes that:

·   The level of CAMHS provisionis not sufficient to meet the needs of young people in Wales who need aspecialist, medical service

·   Difficulties exist for thosechildren and young people who do meet the criteria for CAMHS, including waitingtimes, clinic-based services and the use of prescription medication  

·   There is an absence of services forthose children and young people who do not meet the “medical model”criteria for CAMHS means that there is a significant level of unmet need.

The Minister for Health and Social Services has responded tothe concerns raised by the Committee by announcing a “root andbranch” review of CAMHS in Wales.

The Chair of the Committee, Ann Jones AM, said: “Webelieve that this is an important moment for CAMHS in Wales.

“It presents a much needed opportunity to modernise theservice so that it is fit for purpose and able to meet the needs of childrenand young people in a modern Wales. 

“We are fully committed to scrutinising the WelshGovernment’s progress in delivering the step changes needed to improve widerchild and adolescent mental health services and will return to this issue tomonitor progress and to ensure that the delivery of the modernisation agenda inon schedule.”

Alun Thomas , incoming CEO of Welsh mental health charityHafal, said: “Hafal Members were pleased to have been involved in theevidence-gathering process of this inquiry and we welcome its findings.

“If a young person’s mental illness isn’t properlydealt with then the longer-term repercussions can be considerable – so it isessential that services for young people in Wales are as responsive and effectiveas possible.”

Download the report @ ow.ly/EQrIy