Responding to an official report published today revealing one in eight children and young people aged between 5 and 19 surveyed in England in 2017 had a mental disorder, former Liberal Democrat Health Minister Norman Lamb said:
“These troubling figures reveal the true extent of mental health problems among children. The Conservative Government has a stark choice: either invest in services and give our children the best possible chance in life, or be responsible for the neglect of an entire generation of young people.
“Mental illness can blight the lives and futures of children without the right interventions, but today’s report by the Children’s Commissioner is a brutal reminder of how vulnerable young people too often hit a brick wall when trying to access support.
“As a Minister in the Coalition Government, I secured funding for this prevalence survey so that we could understand the full scale of children’s mental health problems and make sure that the right support is in place. The Tories have a moral duty to make good on that commitment.
“Ministers needs to think about spending money not just on crisis response but preventing people from getting to this point in the first place, particularly by reversing cuts they have imposed for early years. New waiting time standards will also be crucial to incentivise investment in services.”
The Science and Technology Select Committee, Chaired by Norman Lamb, recently published a report on early-years intervention which can be accessed here.
The Children’s Commissioner report can be read here.