pound;84m boost foryoung patients

12th February 1999 at 00:00
MENTAL health services for children and adolescents are to receive a cash boost of pound;84 million over the next three years. The money will go towards improving liaison between primary care, specialist child and adolescent psychiatric services, social services and other agencies as well as local services.

Health minister John Hutton made the announcement at a conference for child psychiatrists and others working in the field as part of the Government's wider social inclusion policy.

He decried the "unnecessary barriers that have grown up between health and social services. Crime, illness, social disadvantage and educational failure are not areas of discrete concern. They are all inter-related."

He also voiced concern at the findings of the Audit Commission's review of child and adolescent mental health services, which show a wide disparity in budgets and services offered around the country, a patchy picture of inter-agency work and little information available at local level. Half the health authorities do not have a written policy.

Professionals working on the ground also called for a more concerted and considered approach.

Epidemiologist Dr Sarah Stewart-Brown, from the Department of Public Health, argued for parent education classes across the social spectrum. She pointed out the fallacy of stereotyping children at risk of mental health problems in terms of social class.

While conduct disorders and hyperactivity were far more prevalent in social class 5 than in social class 1, the bulk of children with behaviour problems were found in social class 3. "So if you target the lowest social-class group, you're missing most of the problem," she said.

A multi-agency committee chaired by Tessa Baring will be making recommendations to the Government in the spring.

Reva Klein

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now