Shadow Children and Families Minister has his say on improving mental health services for children and young people in the Birmingham

Steve McCabe MP, Shadow Children and Families Minister has been making his contribution to a city wide consultation on improving mental health services for children and young people in Birmingham which is being led by Clinical Commissioning Groups across Birmingham and Sandwell.

Steve met with the Dr Diane Reeves, the Chief Accountable Officer for Birmingham South Central Clinical Commissioning Group, to discuss their plans to develop a new mental health service for children and young adults up to the age of 25. The aim of the consultation is to make mental health services less confusing and more accessible for young people to use and enable earlier intervention thus preventing long term dependency on adult mental health services.

As Shadow Children and Families Minister, Steve asked what the Clinical Commissioning Groups intend to do to support adopted and looked after children whose family histories often mean that they  are disproportionately affected by mental health issues.  A recent report ‘Beyond the Adoption Order’ by the Hadley Centre and University of Bristol found that mental health problems were prevalent in children that were adopted and young people that had left home in their teenage years. The report also found that 97% of adopted/looked after children scored in the clinical age range of mental health problems compared to 10% in the general population.

Steve McCabe MP said:

“I am pleased that Birmingham’s Clinical Commissioning Groups are treating mental health issues for young people seriously as often these services are fragmented and difficult to access. I was keen to put my concerns forward as I think that it is important that the consultation recognises that there needs to be a service in place that specifically provides immediate support to vulnerable children and young adults.”

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