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No choice but to send students with mental health problems to A&E

Colleges are being left with no choice but to refer students to A&E due to lack of specialist support for young people and adults.  Following a survey, the Membership organisation, Association of Colleges found that only 40% of respondees had the funding available for a full-time health worker/counsellor because of cuts over the last five years. Additionally, 48% described their relationship with local clinical commissioning groups which procure mental health services as inadequate.

Ian Ashman, president of Association of Colleges, urges NHS commissioners and trusts to use mental health service funding to progress closer relationships with colleges. He feels so much can be done to address the issues before the point of crisis.

Last month, PM Theresa May, announced additional funding for children and young people’s mental health services, including £1.4bn extra funding for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). She also announced a review of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

A report by Young Minds highlighted that CCGs had been siphoning off additional government money planned to improve children and young people’s health provision to pay for other services and tackle cuts.

 Brian Dow, Director of external affairs at Rethink Mental Illness, reports that half of people who go on to have a lifetime mental health problems first experience symptoms as early as 14 so early support is crucial.