Skip to main content

Mental Health Services: Children and Young People

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 99607, tabled on 6 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure children and young people who need mental health support who (a) meet and (b) do not meet the thresholds for eligibility for children and adolescent mental health services are able to access timely support.

Answered on

20 October 2020

We are introducing two waiting times for children and young people by the end of 2020/21: for 95% of children (up to 19 years old) with eating disorders to receive treatment within one week for urgent cases and four weeks for routine cases, and for 60% of patients of all ages experiencing a first episode of psychosis to receive treatment within two weeks of referral.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to an additional 345,000 children and young people in England accessing mental health support each year by 2023/24, via National Health Service-funded mental health services and schools- and college-based mental health support teams.

We are also piloting a four-week waiting time for children and young people’s mental health services in 12 areas to inform the development of a new national access and waiting times standard.

If a young person does not meet the threshold of a local NHS children and young people’s specialist mental health service, the young person and/or their carers should be signposted to appropriate support elsewhere. On 8 September, the Government launched a mental wellbeing campaign for children and young people. This involves an extension of Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters webpage and signposts to a range of support available to children and young people and their parents and carers.