Stronger and more coherent leadership is needed in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), claims the first report from the National Advisory Council (NAC) for Children’s Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing. The report also points to a need for better commissioning of services and the creation of a more skilled and confident workforce, if we are to improve children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.
The NAC is an independent body that was set-up following the National CAMHS Review in 2008, which produced 20 recommendations for Government action to improve child mental health and psychological wellbeing. While it recognises that some progress has been made, the NAC calls for “real participation” to ensure that these issues are higher up everyone’s agenda. “Children and young people tell us that that they want everyone to have a better understanding of what mental health is and to be able to get the right help when they need it”, says Dr Lesley Hewson, Vice Chair of the NAC. “We need to ensure that the whole range of provision is available in all areas and for all communities.”
Following consultation with stakeholders, the NAC is expected to produce its second report in a twelve months.