Experts are warning of a deepening crisis in children’s and teenagers mental health in the UK, with rising numbers needing help and NHS services under ever greater strain.
Figures from NHS Digital in October 2020 revealed that one in six children aged between five and 16 in England is “likely to have a mental disorder”. This represents an increase of almost 50% in just 3 years.
NHS figures have also shown a worrying increase in antidepressants being prescribed for children and teens; with 231,791 prescriptions for 5-16s in 2020.
According to guidelines, young people should only be offered antidepressants in cases of moderate or severe depression; and this should be done alongside talking therapies. Yet many have expressed concerns that availability of those talking therapies is massively insufficient at the moment. So while referrals are hitting record highs, access to specialist support services is very difficult. The fear is that GPs are having to use medication in the interim to families unable to access anything else.
Covid-19 and Child/Teen Mental Health
A publication on mental health and wellbeing of children and adolescents during the covid-19 pandemic was published 24th August 2021. The paper summarises the importance of early intervention:
“Given that half of mental health disorders (including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and others) start by age 14, and three quarters by age 24, early recognition and treatment of the potential impacts of the covid-19 pandemic will help protect children’s and adolescents’ current and future mental health, development, learning, and wellbeing.”
The pandemic is certain to have had a negative impact on children’s mental health, with lockdowns and limitations on normal schooling and social activities leading to isolation for many. The pandemic has also curtailed availability of services at a time when more are needing it.
Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services
For parents seeking support, The Smart Clinics has a variety of private psychological services and children’s health services available at its London clinics as well as remotely, with experts who have specialist training and experience in helping younger patients.
The team of family GPs are supportive and can offer excellent advice on any concerns, as well as providing referrals to a team of specialists and therapists including psychologists, psychotherapists and a child & educational psychologist who are available for specialist help.
- Private GPs
- Often the first port of call for any mental health concerns, our friendly and sensitive GPs will listen to patients before deciding the best course of treatment
- They can review or prescribe medication or arrange referral to other experts
- Longer appointment times at The Smart Clinics also allow for fuller discussion to better establish the right treatment approach with care and sensitivity
- For those seeking urgent care, the service means no waiting lists and better attention to individual needs
- Psychiatry Services, including:
- Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy
- CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy)
- Couple Psychoanalytic Therapy
- Nutritional Therapy
- Life Coaching
- Humanistic Counselling
- TMS Treatment
- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy
- Innovative medication-free and non-surgical treatment for mental health conditions
- Available for teenagers from age 16
- Available at our London clinic with Smart TMS
The Smart Clinics
The Smart Clinics is best known for its unique membership based private GP service with access to a friendly team of experienced doctors, which entitles individuals, families and corporate members to unlimited GP access for a monthly fee. Private dentistry is also available as an optional extra.
For more information contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7052 0070.