Cash boost for children and young people’s mental health services in Wales

Author: Caroline White
Cash boost for children and young people’s mental health services in Wales

The Welsh government has pledged an extra £7.1 million for children and young people’s mental health services, health minister Vaughan Gething has announced.

The cash boost will go towards implementing the government’s response to the recommendations made by the National Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee in its Mind over Matter report, published last year.

The money will be used to improve child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and the whole-school approach to improve mental health and wellbeing in schools.

The minister, who made the announcement at a conference in Cardiff on Monday, aimed at developing a partnership approach for mental health and wellbeing, said that improving mental health was a “top priority” for him.

“In Wales, we’ve taken action to put services in place to help children and young people deal with the pressures of everyday life. In recent years we have been able to provide additional funding to expand the numbers of specialist staff and develop new services.

The extra funding was “a significant and meaningful investment to help us do more to protect, improve and support the mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people by further developing these services,” he added.

The £7.1m investment is in addition to £1.4m being invested by the Welsh government in a programme of mental health in-reach support for schools to strengthen the support from CAMHS in schools in four pilot areas across Wales.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr David Tuthill, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health officer for Wales, said: “Mental health problems can become a direct barrier to a child’s future health, education and employment prospects if they are left unaddressed, so the funding announcement…is one we very much welcome.

“While prevention and school-based support is something that is needed, we need to make sure that all children have equal access to services, no matter how they enter the system or where they live in Wales.”

He added: “The government’s newly established Ministerial Group for mental health provides an excellent opportunity to address all of this and I look forward to working with them to ensure no child gets left behind.”