School mental health referrals to NHS trust in Barking and Dagenham up 39pc
- Credit: Archant
The number of pupils referred by their schools to Barking and Dagenham’s mental health trust has risen by over a third since 2014.
North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) received 2,064 requests for professional help for troubled youngsters in 2016-17, up 39 per cent from 2014-15 (1,486), according to figures published Monday. These included children as young as one and two years old.
Overall, 4,814 referrals were made over the three-year period — more than four each day.
The figures, obtained under Freedom of Information laws by the NSPCC, show NHS child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in London and the south east recorded 48,394 referrals in the last four years, two-thirds of which were from primary schools. By comparison, primary schools accounted for half of referrals to NEFLT (47pc).
The charity blames stretched support services for shunting vulnerable children for forcing voluntary and community services like Childline to keep plates spinning amid rising workloads.
You may also want to watch:
“Our research shows schools are increasingly referring children for specialist mental health treatment, often when the child is at crisis point,” said the helpline’s London manager, Wendy Robinson.
“Childline plays a vital role in supporting children with their mental health, and many turn to us when they are struggling to get access to specialist treatment. Early counselling from Childline could also help relieve the pressure on CAMHS.
- 1 School pupil among Indian Covid variant cases in Barking and Dagenham
- 2 Jailed: Dagenham car burglar after 100mph pursuit in Romford
- 3 Love Island promo filming in Barking 'a great opportunity' for college students
- 4 Barking man charged with sexual assault during crackdown on violence against women
- 5 Barking Indian restaurant owner fined over waste disposal
- 6 Drivers escape injury in Dagenham crash
- 7 Indian variant of Covid-19 - what's the situation in London?
- 8 Barking man appears in court charged with mother-of-two's murder
- 9 Man, 20, found stabbed in Barking
- 10 Former east London police sergeant sentenced after pleading guilty to harassment
“We have seen a marked increase in counselling about mental health, and fully expect it to continue. It is vital that Government urgently provides more funding to Childline and help children who don’t have access to support elsewhere.”
NELFT, which has been contacted for comment, refused to release referral figures for 2017-18, claiming such a disclosure would prejudice “commercial interests”.
The published figures do, however, reveal 1,122 primary school pupils were referred in 2016-17, almost as many as the previous two years combined.
“I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks and find it difficult to leave the house or get out of bed,” a 17-year-old girl told Childline.
“I was referred to CAMHS but I was on a waiting list for 8 months and during that time my anxiety got worse so I never went because I was too scared.”