The number of referrals by schools in London and the south east seeking mental health treatment for troubled pupils has increased by a fifth in the last three years, the NSPCC reveals today.
In a Freedom of Information request to NHS Trusts in England, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) found that schools in London and the south east seeking professional help for pupils from NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) made 48,394 referrals since 2014/15.
Over the past four years, there has been a steady rise in the number of referrals to CAHMS from schools in London and the south east from 10,127 in 2-14/15 to 12,240 in 2017/18. However, the most troubling feature of this surge is the burgeoning percentage (185) of children’s referrals that are being declined specialist CAHMS treatment in the region.
According to the NSPCC, this high percentage of referral declines could be due to a lack of funding and services to support children. As such, the charity has called on the Government with their ‘Are You There?’ campaign to invest more into services for children.
Wendy Robinson, Manager of the NSPCC’s Childline base in London said: “Our research shows schools are increasingly referring children for specialist mental health treatment, often when the child is at crisis point.
“Childline plays a vital role in supporting children with their mental health, and many turn to us when they are struggling to get access to specialist treatment. Early counselling from Childline could also help relieve the pressure on CAMHS.
“We have seen a marked increase in counselling about mental health, and fully expect it to continue. It is vital that Government urgently provides more funding to Childline and help children who don’t have access to support elsewhere.”