More kids seeking mental health support

More children and young people have been in contact with mental health services in South Tyneside over the last year, new figures show.

Mental health figures.
Mental health figures.

NHS Digital figures show 3,875 children and young people had at least one contact with mental health services in the NHS South Tyneside CCG area in the 12 months to May – up from 3,865 in April.

Nationally, the number of children who had contact with mental health services in the last year rose by 21% to 690,000.

The number of children waiting for contact with mental health services also reached a new high of 460,000 in May.

In South Tyneside, 2,030 children were waiting to be seen after being referred by a GP or other health professional.

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Children's mental health charity YoungMinds said the figures are "harrowing" and the impact of lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic has affected young people's mental health, leading to a huge number needing support.

Olly Parker, head of external affairs, said: "The pandemic has certainly deepened the crisis in young people’s mental health, with huge disruption to students’ education, many of whom were also dealing with multiple pressures like difficult home environments, bereavement and other trauma.

"The reality is that we are seeing more young people struggling to get treatment and support for their mental health and waiting for the Government to take action and end this intensifying crisis."

The Department for Health and Social Care said supporting children's mental health is a "major priority" and that it invested £79m in 2021-22 to expand services to support more than 22,000 children and young people.