Comment on Health Select Committee report: Professor Shirley Reynolds welcomes the Committee's findings adding 'when it comes to mental health we have let young people down'
Release Date 05 November 2014
With the Children's and Adolescents Mental Health and CAMHS report published today, Professor Shirley Reynolds, Director of the University of Reading's Charlie Waller Institute for Evidence-Based Psychological Treatment, provides comment.
With colleague Dr Cathy Creswell, Professor Reynolds provided written evidence to the Health Select Committee for this report.
"I'm delighted with the report which highlights major problems in how we look after and treat children and teenagers. Young people deserve to receive the best possible start in life. When it comes to mental health, we are letting them down. If not treated quickly and effectively, the mental distress in young people can often have life-changing negative effects damaging relationships, education and job prospects.
"Around 10% of children under-15 have a diagnosable mental health problem. These problems are real and cause misery and suffering for children and their families. It is essential that we put the needs of young people and children first. Treatment should be swiftly sought and readily available. There is a range of effective evidence based psychological treatments which children and teenagers should always be offered as soon as problems are noticed.
"These treatments need to be provided by skilled and compassionate clinicians who understand how to work with children and families. This is even more crucial in times of financial restraint. Children, young people and their families tend to suffer more under increasing financial and social pressures.
"All adults have a responsibility to care for children and young people - it is great to see that this has at last been recognised. It is now up to us all to make sure that the recommendations of the committee are fully and vigorously implemented."
The Charlie Waller Institute at the University of Reading provides high quality training to clinical staff, and to their supervisors and managers, to help improve services provided to children and young people.
In addition the Institute also works with Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust to assess and treat young people and to carry out research to help us understand and treat anxiety and depression in children and adolescents.