Children and young people’s mental health: An independent review in policy success and challenges over the last decade

This report by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, commissioned by the Local Government Association, considers the policy landscape in England over the last decade in relation to children and young people’s mental health, and reviews progress relating to implementation and impact. It also outlines current policy levers and opportunities for councils to shape and influence work on children’s mental health in partnership with other agencies such as the NHS, education and the voluntary and community sector.

Children and young people’s mental health has been the subject of great public and policy interest in recent years, and as a result a raft of measures have been introduced to improve mental health outcomes for children and young people, and the support available to them. Policies and strategies have predominantly focused on expanding access to support through education settings and NHS Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS). Yet, many children and young people continue to face challenges accessing support for their mental health and their experiences of services are not consistently good.

The report finds that whilst many of the ambitions laid out by the Government to date have been a step in the right direction, they have been continuously criticised for not being ambitious enough in creating the scale of change that is needed. The report concludes that polices implemented to date have not had sufficient impact in ensuring children and young people get the mental health support they need, and makes a series of recommendations to be considered by the Local Government Association, councils, regional bodies and national government to take forward positive and lasting changes for children’s mental health.

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