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Overcoming barriers to support

Mental health is talked about more these days – it seems – than it ever has been before.

It has a prominent place on the news agenda and is a subject now considered much less taboo.

In the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, among others, mental health can boast high-profile advocates, whose efforts continue to keep the conversation going.

There’s no question that attitudes in the UK have shifted.

But raising awareness, while important, is not enough.

This is a fact underlined in recent days, with a new report from the charity YoungMinds having revealed figures that do not make for good reading.

From 2,700 young people who have sought help for mental health issues, just 9% said it had been easy to access the support required.

From 1,600 parents surveyed, that figure fell to 6%.

The picture painted here is rather bleak. Yet the findings do not come as a great surprise.

Indeed, when new patients and their parents approach CPUK, we often find them scared, upset and feeling helpless and without hope.

They’ve all-too-often struggled to get the right help, have waited a long time, been pointed in the wrong direction or seen the wrong person.

Feeling fragile and frustrated, such things do nothing more than exacerbate issues.

The YoungMinds report shows that 94% of parents and 81% of young people agree that there is simply not enough support for children and young people’s mental health.

Have YOU struggled to access the help and support required?

Consider the following.

Figures from YouGov (based upon 2,100 adults surveyed) show 94% agree that mental health is as important as physical health, while 84% agree that mental health is more likely to be talked about nowadays than it was in the past.

Yet 42% of parents (according to the YoungMinds report) have experienced problems getting support from their child’s school or college, with 29% finding it difficult to get help from their GP.

44% of young people who accessed Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) said they’d found it hard to get an initial referral, 60% said there had been a long wait between the referral and the assessment and 32% said there had been a long wait between the assessment and subsequent treatment.

Once again – based upon our own experiences here – these findings do not come as a great surprise. That makes them no less troubling.

Sarah Brennan, the Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said: “These results reflect what we hear every day from young people and parents – that despite the great progress being made . . . to get people talking about mental health . . . there can still be unacceptable barriers to getting help.”

Here at CPUK, we find ourselves in full agreement.

It’s good to talk, and raising awareness and understanding is important, not least in the fight against stigma.

But what young people (and their parents) REALLY need is access to the appropriate services. To get the support required. To see the right people. To avoid the long wait. To have hope.

This is what we’re here for. Do YOU need our help?

Concerned about YOUR child?

Waited too long for advice and/or assistance?

Unable to find the answers?

Contact CPUK today. We’re here to help.

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