Tormented kids must be helped
TODAY we reveal that 70 children are being treated for mental illness in A&Es every day. That is so shocking, we will repeat it.
Each day, 70 children are having their mental health problems treated as accidents and emergencies. This is scandalous.
The figures for A&E treatment have been rising alarmingly for 10 years. Some of that is due to the increasing pressures of poverty, loneliness and social media.
But much of the blame for this is because mental health services for children have been steadily falling. There are five per cent less child psychiatrists than there were five years ago. And 23,686 mental health staff quit in the 12 months to May last year.
Yet every expert agrees that early intervention is the way to stop these conditions becoming emergencies.
Children go to A&E simply because there is nowhere else to turn.
The Centre for Mental Health says it takes an average 10 years from the onset of symptoms to getting help. That means a child who develops a problem at eight will be an adult before getting treatment.
Which is why action is needed now.
And instead of cutting taxes, the next PM must make this his priority.