A November article in The Times has said that children all across the country with depression, anxiety and eating disorders are being denied treatment because of a lack of urgency by ministers to address a crisis in mental health services.
Statistics are showing that 1 in 5 children referred to mental heath services by their GP are being denied treatment and deemed "not ill enough".
With the increasing numbers of children in need of mental health support the failure of specialised services to provide this is incredibly damaging and risks many young people deteriorating to crisis point or suffering long term negative consequences as a result of not getting the help they need to manage their emotions and related behaviours.
This highlights for us at Phase the importance of our self-harm support and emotional wellbeing work as we try to fill the gap in services. By promoting emotional wellbeing for all we aim to reduce the numbers of young people reaching a point where they need specialist mental health interventions, and for those who struggle yet do not meet the criteria for such services, we provide support to them to manage, cope and feel better in relation to their situation.
It is an important issue to look at, whether the services such as schools and youth organisations feel equipped to deal with those young people who have been referred to service but do not meet the criteria. While schools feel unable to provide a good level of support to these individuals and keep them safe, young people will only get worse and the already full to capacity specialist services will be further overstretched.
At Phase we want to research into how the secondary schools in Hitchin feel they are able to manage those students who fall in the gap and over the coming year I am going to be conducting a project looking at answering questions around this topic. A research project is a requirement of my college course and placement but I have chosen this topic because I passionately believe in the importance of increasing additional support for young people who are struggling.
We hope to share the findings of this research with you in the new year. If you want to keep up to date on how the project is progressing as we move forward with this, please click here to email us or keep a look out on our social media pages.