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High demand for psychological services for children demands new approach

Date:
November 3, 2016
Source:
British Psychological Society (BPS)
Summary:
Psychological wellbeing services for children must be fundamentally rethought and reconfigured if we are to provide help for all those who need it, say authors of a new report.
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Psychological wellbeing services for children must be fundamentally rethought and reconfigured if we are to provide help for all those who need it.

That is the conclusion of a new report published by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

What Good Could Look Like in Integrated Psychological Services for Children, Young People and their Families says the demand for these services far outstrips capacity. Current services are overstretched and fragmented, which leads to complex referral systems, long waiting times and young people falling through the net.

There are also great inequalities that result in the most vulnerable people being more disadvantaged.

In place of these failing current arrangements, What Good Could Look Like calls for action to reduce demand by keeping children and young people healthy and tackling the risk factors that lead to mental health conditions.

Julia Faulconbridge, the child lead for the BPS Division of Clinical Psychology and one of the authors of the report, said:

"In recent days Jeremy Hunt has described the mental health services for children and young people as 'the biggest single area of weakness in NHS provision' and the latest figures from NHS England show a significant increase in the numbers of young people self-harming.

"Whilst we must have high quality available for the children and young people who are experiencing significant distress, we must also look to what can be done to reduce the numbers in need of such help.

"We are advocating for a whole system approach that considers the ways in which our society can support families and promote the healthy psychological development of our children and young people and intervene early when difficulties start to arise"

What Good Could Look Like says reducing demand can best be achieved by: addressing poverty and social inequality; health promotion, for instance in schools and maternity settings; and early intervention with families when children are experiencing problems.

It contains a set of detailed recommendations for action, including:

  • All involved with commissioning and providing psychological wellbeing services for children, young people and their families need to plan services and systems that nurture good emotional health, not just those that help when problems arise.
  • Robust assessments of how new policies impact upon the mental health of families, including children and young people, should be carried out at all levels from Central Governments down to local areas.
  • Providers should involve young people who use services, parents, schools, youth workers, community health, voluntary and residential care staff, in the delivery of psychological interventions and provide training, consultation and supervision to develop their skills.

The Report also advocates the use of community psychology. This approach encourages whole communities to shape their own environments to be psychologically safe by building resilience and promoting healthy lifestyles for children and young people.

See more at: https://www.bps.org.uk/system/files/user-files/Division%20of%20Clinical%20Psychology/public/CFCPR%204%20web.pdf


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Materials provided by British Psychological Society (BPS). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

British Psychological Society (BPS). "High demand for psychological services for children demands new approach." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 November 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161103091024.htm>.
British Psychological Society (BPS). (2016, November 3). High demand for psychological services for children demands new approach. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161103091024.htm
British Psychological Society (BPS). "High demand for psychological services for children demands new approach." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161103091024.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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