As young people across the borough break up for the summer John Healey MP has released data showing over ten thousand local children are stuck on mental health waiting lists. It comes as calls grow for the Government to address their failed handling of mental health services across the country.
Since 2010, the Conservative Government has cut one-in-four mental health beds across the country, as waiting times for treatment have soared. Across the South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, there were 10,015 children on waiting lists at the end of last year.
The figures come after the Wentworth and Dearne MP took local head teachers to Westminster to meet with the Schools Minister to press for greater government support to help schools deal with the mounting mental health concerns they have to handle on a daily basis.
It follows a survey of schools by John across the constituency in which all secondary schools and a majority of primary schools said there had been a rise in anxiety reported mental health problems for both students and staff since his original survey in 2018.
John Healey MP said: “These figures demonstrate just how much our community, and our children are suffering after 13 years of this Conservative government. Children should not be stuck in A&E because they can’t receive treatment in the community.
“Waiting lists are soaring and patients are left receiving inadequate treatment, all as a result of the Government failing on children’s mental health. Once again, it’s the most vulnerable paying the price for the Tories’ shocking neglect.
“Our children deserve better – it’s why the next Labour Government will enshrine a preventative approach to mental health, opening mental health hubs for children and young people locally and making sure that all of our local schools have access to a mental health professional.”
Many mental health services are at breaking point after 13 years of Conservative Government – staff are overstretched, and NHS services have been neglected for over a decade. The result is that hundreds of thousands of people are turned away from services without having any treatment.
Labour has a plan to tackle these problems, by recruiting thousands more mental health staff, guaranteeing treatment within a month and providing access to a mental health professional in every school.