Foundation responds to the decrease in the number of young people with mental health problems being treated in adult hospital wards

18 October 2017

A Mental Health Foundation spokesperson said:

"The Mental Health Foundation is pleased to see fewer young people with a mental health problem being treated in non-specialist wards and we welcome the trend in this direction – the evidence is clear that young people treated in hospital with a mental health problem should be admitted to specialist units.

"However, while we recognise that in some cases hospital treatment is necessary, we should be intervening much earlier to prevent young people reaching crisis point and being admitted to hospital in the first place.

"Too many children and young people who experience a mental health problem don’t get the support they need when they need it. That’s why it’s time for a robust prevention strategy in our schools and communities. 

"Teachers require the right training to explore mental health in the classroom and creating a 'whole-school approach' where young people feel comfortable discussing mental health would help build confidence, particularly among young people with existing mental health conditions. In addition we need new thinking and innovation, alongside investment, to revolutionise how young people, who are struggling but fall below the threshold for specialist mental health treatment provided by CAMHS, are supported by people in youth and community settings.

"The Foundation believes that this approach, alongside targeted provision for young people with mental ill health or at greater risk of developing it, would go some way to ensure that our young people have the emotional vocabulary to talk about their feelings, can access support when they need it and ultimately can flourish and grow into mental healthy adults."