The Education Policy Institute (EPI) says that more than a quarter of young people referred for treatment to mental health services were rejected, including those who had experienced self harm.
The EPI report highlights the regional differences in services and waiting times across the country. It notes that children still wait on average nearly two months to access treatment, even though the average waiting time has fallen.
21% of young people in work struggle with their mental health
In our 2019 Youth Voice Census, mental health and anxiety issues were raised by many of the 3,008 young people who took part. In fact, mental health issues were cited as one of the biggest barriers to employment. A sizeable 21% of young people who were in work said they struggled with their mental health.
The government has set out early intervention plans, supporting schools to develop key skills that support positive mental health in young people, such as resilience and self-belief. These plans are of course welcome, but they are a long way off from being implemented and still risk inequalities in an imperfect delivery system.
Failure to invest in our young people’s mental health and wellbeing will cost us all.
In our Manifesto for Youth Employment, we provided some key recommendations for government to help address the mental health crisis. The recommended call for bold action to accelerate the current plans which will require increased investment. We would argue that there is little choice.
If everyone doesn’t work together to achieve more immediate and bolder action, the cost and implication of this continued failure to support young people will be much greater in the long run.