Reading Liberal Democrats are demanding that more is done to support children with mental health problems.
The number of children requiring mental health support has risen sharply during the last two years. The BBC have reported that those needing specialist help has risen by 77% while the 349,449 under-18s in touch with NHS psychiatric services in October 2021 was the highest on record.
At the same time spending on children’s mental health services has stagnated and the average waiting time for an appointment in Reading is 27 days.
Local Lib Dem campaigner Anne Thompson said;
“Lockdown has had a lasting impact on many local children. The severe disruption children suffered during lockdown, and the adjustments they have had to make since, has led to a mental health crisis amongst children.”
“The Conservative Government’s response to this crisis has been wholly inadequate. Overall only £79.70 is spent per child on children’s mental health services in Reading – compared to £225 across the country for each adult. To deal with the mental health crisis in schools they want to train existing staff who are already overstretched.”
“The Lib Dems are calling on the Government to invest properly in children’s mental health by putting a trained and dedicated mental health professional in every school – and by introducing maximum waiting times for mental health services.”
“The Lib Dems have previously called for a Children’s Catch Up fund to provide each school child in Reading with vouchers of at least £200 to catch up on education or experiences that were lost during lockdown.”
“In many cases children have been the ones who have lost the most during lockdown. The Lib Dems want to put children front and centre of Britain’s covid recovery”