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Under-18s being denied urgent mental health treatment, say GPs

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Troubled teenagers seeking urgent help from NHS mental health services are being denied treatment or facing months of delays, GPs have said. Three in four family doctors do not believe under-18s they refer to child and adolescent mental health services will end up being treated, research shows.

In a survey of 1,008 GPs across the UK, 76% said they did not usually feel confident a young person they referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) would receive treatment for their illness. Only 10% were confident that treatment would follow.

Emma Thomas, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said: “As these worrying results show, GPs are on the frontline when it comes to mental health. But too often they don’t believe that there is good enough early support in their community".  She added, "This means many young people either receive support from GPs who have the best of intentions but may not feel equipped to provide the right help, or face long waiting times for specialist services, which may then turn them away because of high thresholds for treatment.”

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Source: Guardian, 7 November 2019

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