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Mental Health: Children

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 119825, tabled on 7 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of cases of (a) eating disorders, (b) depression, (c) anxiety, (d) post-traumatic stress disorder and (e) attention deficit hyperactivity disorder amongst children.

Answered on

16 February 2022

We remain committed to the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan to invest at least an additional £2.3 billion a year into expanding and transforming mental health services by 2023/24. This will enable an extra 345,000 more children and young people with a range of mental health conditions including eating disorders, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder to access National Health Service (NHS) funded mental health support and expand the mental health workforce by an additional 27,000 healthcare professionals.

In March 2021, we announced an additional £79 million funding in this financial year, which will allow around 22,500 more children and young people to access community health services, 2,000 more to access eating disorder services and accelerate the coverage of mental health support teams in schools and colleges.

We are also investing £15 million in local authority areas in the most deprived parts of the country to help stimulate and boost prevention and early intervention services to support those hardest hit by the pandemic, including children and young people.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition. The symptoms of ADHD usually improve with age, but many adults who were diagnosed with the condition at a young age continue to experience problems. For children with ADHD, the condition can be managed with appropriate educational, health and care advice and support, alongside medicine if necessary. We are taking specific steps through the NHS Long Term Plan to work with local authority children’s social care, education services and expert charities to develop packages to support neurodivergent children, including children with ADHD and their families, throughout the diagnostic process.