Young people and expert mental healthcare staff say patients are unlikely to receive in-patient mental health care unless they “have attempted suicide multiple times”, according to a new report published by Look Ahead Care and Support.
Launched in the House of Lords, the report – funded by Wates Family Enterprise Trust and produced by experts Care Research – argues Accident and Emergency departments have become an ‘accidental hub’ for children and young people experiencing crisis but are ill-equipped to offer the treatment required.
Based on in-depth interviews with service users, parents and carers, and NHS and social care staff from across England, the findings from the Look Ahead Care and Support report draws on experience of treating depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, eating disorders, addiction and psychosis.
- Report commissioned by Look Ahead Care and Support finds increasing demand for children and young people’s crisis mental health services amidst challenges with existing services.
- Yet researchers heard from professionals, service users and their families and carers found that you “had to have attempted suicide multiple times to be offered inpatient support".
- Interviewees say A&E departments have become an ‘accidental hub’ for children and young people experiencing crisis but are ill equipped to offer the treatment required.
- Private sector providers now deliver the majority of support for hospitalised young people with mental health difficulties at “exceptionally high” cost.
- Report recommends alternative community crisis services, including supported housing away from hospital settings to reduce pressure on A&E and reduce costs by more than 50%
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