Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff asks why children are being turned away from mental health services

A Yorkshire MP has taken the Government to task over reports that hundreds of thousands of children and young people in need are being turned away from mental health services.

Paula Sherriff MP. Picture by Scott Merrylees.

Dewsbury and Mirfield Labour MP Paula Sherriff asked a question in the House of Commons during a debate on the issue.

Ms Sherriff said: “This week, the Children’s Society published research to show that more than 110,000 children and young people were turned away from mental health services because their problems were not deemed serious enough – that is despite suicide rates for teenagers almost doubling in eight years and research from YoungMinds that shows that three-quarters of parents feel their child’s mental health has deteriorated while they wait for treatment.

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"Why are so few children able to get the support from mental health services that they so desperately need?”

Today she added: “This latest research from the Children’s Society is yet more appalling evidence of thresholds being set that see troubled children and young people being turned away instead of receiving the early help and support they need.

“The only way to tackle growing suicide rates in teenagers and the deterioration of children’s mental health during protracted waits for treatment, is to ensure that the help is there for them from the outset.

“Early intervention is crucial to make sure that children and young people get the treatment they need before they reach crisis point.”

During the debate, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jackie Doyle-Price MP, said: “As the Honourable Lady and I have discussed previously, I would be the first person to recognise that we are not where we would like to be in respect of the provision of mental health services, but that is why we are investing an additional £2.3 billion to expand access for children by 345,000.

"In addition to that, we are investing in a brand new workforce in all our schools so that we can have exactly the kind of early intervention that will not require more lengthy periods of care and treatment.”