In 2018 the College replied to calls for evidence on this APPG. We welcome the inquiry into the implementation of the plan. Promoting child and young people’s mental health remains a top priority for the college, as laid out in our State of Child health report.
- Firstly, the RCPCH would like to acknowledge that while the FYFVMH has led to some improvement in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), the limited focus on broader mental health service provision for children and young people (CYP) within the FYFVMH, including paediatrics, has therefore limited its influence on the wider mental health for CYP.
- Many of the recommendations in the document are yet to be implemented and, and we do not believe the recommendations in the 2017 green paper are ambitious enough to have a meaningful impact on CYP.
- There is an increasing tendency in specialist CAMHS to concentrate on anxiety, depression, self-harm, eating disorders and psychosis, to the detriment of CYP with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), conduct disorders, medically unexplained symptoms and those with complex vulnerabilities and presentations, such as looked after children.
- There is overwhelming evidence that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can have a significant impact on CYP mental health, therefore prevention and early intervention much remain a priority.
- We have repeatedly called for updated mental health prevalence data. Without this it is almost impossible to properly track progress. We recommend that the Survey of the Mental Health of Children and Young People be repeated every three years.
- We strongly encourage an ongoing dialogue between policy makers and children and young people. Children and young people are well placed to inform decision makers about what they believe will improve mental health outcomes from them.
- We call for better quality research on what population interventions might be able to influence outcomes across the gamut of mental health problems, and independent analysis of how interventions might be put in place.