10/11/2017 11:30 GMT

More Than 100,000 Children Rejected For Treatment By Mental Health Services, So What Should Parents Do?

'It is desperately sad to see so many young people facing distress.'

More than 100,000 children referred to local NHS mental health services have been rejected for treatment in the last two years, the NSPCC has revealed.

So what should parents do if their child is struggling and they are unable to access treatment?

An NSPCC spokesperson told HuffPost UK that a child’s condition may worsen if they do not access treatment.

So the most important thing for parents to do is to get their children to talk.

“If a young person is struggling with mental health issues and they are turned away from treatment, their condition has the potential to worsen,” the spokesperson said.

“For parents and carers this can be very worrying, but it’s vital they continue to support their child by listening to them and reassuring them that there is help available.”

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Giving advice to parents, the NSPCC spokesperson continued: “If your child is struggling with their mental health it’s likely to have an effect on the whole family so make sure you also get all the support you need from friends and family and professionals.”

They encouraged parents to let their child’s school know what is going on, adding: “Talk to your child’s school and ensure they are aware of the situation and that your child has a named member of staff they can go to if they’re struggling.

“Childline is always there for any child and sometimes it’s easier for them to open up to someone other than a relative.”

The charity’s comments come after they obtained new figures via a Freedom of Information request to NHS Trusts in England which found the equivalent of 150 children a day were rejected for treatment between 2015 and 2017.

From a total of 652,023 cases referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), 109,613 children were turned away.

The NSPCC said they fear the number of young people being dismissed from mental health services could even be significantly higher, as one in five of the Trusts which responded to the request failed to disclose the number of rejected referrals.

The charity is now calling on the Government to shift the focus of children and young people’s mental health services towards early intervention, to ensure that young people’s mental health does not have to reach crisis point before they are able to get help.

Responding to the figures, Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: “It is desperately sad to see so many young people facing distress around mental health issues being forced to wait months for assessment by CAMHS, many of whom are then rejected for treatment altogether. This risks leaving them in limbo while their condition potentially reaches crisis point.

“We recognise the hard work of mental health professionals in trying to help young people get their lives back on track. However, too many children who need help are struggling access support and treatment which can help them to recover.

“The Government’s upcoming Green Paper on mental health must urgently evaluate the early support systems available to young people to ensure that no child is left to suffer in silence.”

For more information and support:

PAPYRUS: Children and parents can contact HOPELineUK for advice and support. It is confidential and you will not be judged. Call 0800 0684141, text 07786209697 or email

Childline: Remind your child that Childline is there to give them free, confidential support and advice, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at

YoungMinds: The parents helpline offers free, confidential online and telephone support, including information and advice, to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25. Call 0808 8025544.

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