Will Forster

Mayor of Woking and Lib Dem County Councillor for Woking South Learn more

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Children and young people’s mental health services

by willforster on 19 February, 2018

I am becoming increasingly concerned about the long waiting times faced by children and young people with mental health problems.

Surrey County Council’s Children and Education Select Committee expressed fury about the state of local mental health services at its last meeting in November, and the committee is due to discuss it again at its meeting later this week.

I am shocked to know that for many children with mental health problems waiting times for assessment can be over 160 working days (this includes children in care) and for treatment, assuming some is deemed necessary, the wait can be between 10 and 75 working days.  This an appalling state of affairs is not going to be resolved by contract managers shouting at the providers – the fact is demand for these services is going through the roof and the services are underfunded.

Children’s mental health is in my view the greatest public health crisis nationally.  A child who is self-harming or suicidal will be marked by such trauma for life unless they get urgent support.  In Surrey they cannot always get the support they need in a timely manner and that is not good enough for our children.

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