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Christian charity: 100 day mental health waits "disgusting"

Sat 28 May 2016
By Hannah Tooley

A Christian charity has told Premier it is "disgusting" that some children are being turned away from mental health treatment and others are waiting 100 days to be seen. 

Rachael Newham, from Christian charity Think Twice, was speaking after a new report showed that more than a quarter of children referred for mental health support in England last year were sent away without help, including some who had attempted suicide.

"It's disgusting, I don't think there's any other medical condition you can have that where that would happen.

"If you sprained your ankle you'd probably get a course of physio.

"So the fact that actually it's not even the basics that are being offered, it's utterly appalling."

A review of mental health services by the Children's Commissioner discovered 14% of youngsters with life-threatening conditions were not allowed specialist treatment.

Even those with the most serious illnesses who secured treatment faced lengthy delays, with an average waiting time of more than 100 days.

Average waiting times ranged from 14 days in a trust in north-west England to 200 days at one in the West Midlands, while around 35% of trusts said they would restrict access to services for children who missed appointments, the review found.

Rachael Newham told Premier people can pray in three ways: "The first way is to pray that people with mental health issues, young people in particular, are met with a great deal of compassion.

"Secondly that they'll be more money put into the system so that young people can access the help they need to in a timely way.

"And thirdly I think it's praying for families and those around the young people, because it's so, so difficult for families to deal with mental illness and parent as well.

"So praying for families and these communities is really vital."

An NHS England spokesperson said: "While the data in this report does not substantiate the conclusions drawn, it is clearly the case that CAMHS services need to expand and the additional £1.4 billion pledged will help us to do that."

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Rachael Newham here:

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