We know that one in ten children aged between 5 and 16 years has a clinically diagnosable mental health problem. Half of those with lifetime mental health problems first experience symptoms by the age of 14, and three-quarters before their mid-20s. For that reason, the cross government mental health strategy No Health Without Mental Health takes a life course approach to improving mental health outcomes and includes a strong focus on improving public mental health and prioritising early and effective evidence-based intervention.
We also know there is still some way to go in developing the whole system approach needed to integrate high quality evidence-based services around the child and their family and across the whole care pathway including health, education and social care to drive the sustained improvement in children’s mental health outcomes we all want to see.
There is activity under way including:
- an ambitious programme of service transformation through the CYP Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies project
- the development of Payment by Results currencies for child and adolescent mental health services
- an implementation framework to test and support delivery of the ambition of the mental health strategy and the outcome based objectives it sets out.
The development of Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Strategy offers a real opportunity to drive further improvements. To help us do this, we would like your views on the following questions as they relate to mental health:
- Where is the health service falling short for children and young people – what is our weakest link and what can we do to improve things to make sure it makes a real difference to the lives of children and young people?
- With so many different parts of the health system in place, what do they need to focus on and improve to make sure they each work together to deliver the best possible health service for children and young people?
- The NHS and Public Health Outcomes Frameworks propose key areas of focus: making sure everyone lives healthy lives for longer, addressing inequalities, enhancing quality of life for people with long term conditions, helping people recover from ill health or following an injury, ensuring people have a positive experience of care, treating and caring for people in a safe environment and protecting them from harm – are these the right priority areas in relation to children and young people’s health outcomes? Is there anything missing?
See outcomes specific to children and young people in these frameworks
- What should key health outcomes for children and young people include?
The Forum’s work on mental health is led by Lisa Christensen and Margaret Murphy.