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Mike Wood: The hon. Lady is making some important points. She referred to the taskforce’s “Future in mind” report. According to one of its startling statistics, only between 25% and 35% of young people with diagnosable mental health conditions access support. Does that not underline the need for much better training and much more awareness among both teachers and GPs, in respect of early identification as well as early intervention?
Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Policing)
We need early identification and we need early intervention, but we also need the funds to ensure that there are services to which people can be referred. That is the rub of this whole debate. There does not seem to be the necessary funding at any point in the journey of young people who need help, whether in the form of awareness, intervention or services.
I have been looking into the good work done in my borough, the London borough of Newham. Even in these difficult times, it is increasing its mental health spending in both absolute and relative terms, and its children’s mental health services received an “outstanding” rating from the Care Quality Commission. I wanted to find out how we could improve young people’s mental health provision, and to learn about the challenges that an “outstanding” local provider continued to face in its fight for better services. Professionals in Newham recognise that a good young people’s mental health service does not just help those who have already developed severe and serious conditions, but provides early intervention and preventive programmes so that problems can be dealt with at source.