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Three-quarters of children detained under mental health act are girls, new report warns

Nearly three-quarters of children detained under the mental health act are girls, a new report has found, amid warnings youngsters face a “postcode lottery” in their wait for treatment.

Average waiting times between children being referred to mental health services and starting treatment have increased for the first time since 2017 with the children’s commissioner describing support across the country as “patchy”.

In the annual report on children’s mental health services, the watchdog warned that, although the average wait is 40 days, some children are waiting as long as 80 days for treatment after being referred in 2021-22.

The analysis, published on International Women’s day, also says young girls represented the highest proportion of children detained under the mental health act last year, highlighting “stark and worrying” gender inequalities.

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Source: The Independent, 7 March 2023

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