Last week it was announced that the Governments new mental health strategy was to focus much of its attention on a series of early intervention programmes which are aimed at identifying children and adults who may be vulnerable to mental health problems.
Under the new scheme, children and teenagers who show signs of depression, anxiety or any other mental health concern will be offered talking therapies which will aim to prevent them from developing a lifelong illness.
The introduction of cognitive behavioural therapy alongside various other psychological therapies for children have been announced following a five year investment programme which has seen short-term psychological therapies developed for adults across 60 per cent of the country. The investment programme has seen 70,000 people ”recover” from their illness and 14,000 stopping their benefits and sick pay.
A pilot programme taking place in Bury, Greater Manchester which focussed on children has already reaped significant benefits such as an increase in young people’s social inclusion, including keeping them in school and helping them gain better qualifications.
Care services minister Paul Burstow said: “We are going to look at how we can re-engineer child and adolescent mental health services to provide talking therapies for children. We will be taking a lot of learning from the talking therapies for working-age adults and seeing how that can be used to inform the development of an age-appropriate model for children.”
Children and teenagers themselves would be involved “to a significant extent” in designing the treatment model, Burstow said.