The Welsh Government will invest an extra £7.6m every year in mental health services for children and young people in Wales, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford has announced today (Friday May 22).
The additional funding will help improve specialist child and adolescent mental health services’ (CAMHS) ability to respond out of hours and at times of crisis; expand access to psychological therapies for young people; improve provision for children and young people in local primary mental health support services and ensure services intervene early to meet the needs of young people who develop psychosis.
Funding will also be available to develop services for the most vulnerable young people who are already in – or are at danger of entering – the youth justice system.
It will also support the implementation of work, which is currently being carried out to make CAMHS more responsive to the needs of young people. This work is being led by the NHS and was formally launched by the Minister for Health and Social Services on February 26.
The funding package includes £2m announced earlier this week to develop services for young people with neuro-developmental needs, including ADHD and autistic spectrum disorders. These new services will help to reduce waiting times in specialist CAMHS so those children and young people with the most complex conditions and the highest levels of clinical need are seen quickly.
Professor Drakeford said: “The additional funding I’m announcing today will help to drive a range of important improvements in child and adolescent mental health services across Wales.
“A considerable amount of work is now underway to move CAMHS forward. I have always been clear that money alone is not the answer for all the challenges facing the NHS, but the changes we are seeking to make to these services are the most significant for many years and ensuring appropriate resources are available will help to achieve the right outcomes for children and young people.”
The £7.6m investment child and adolescent mental health services in 2015-16 is part of a wider funding package worth £19.5m, which is being invested in mental health services across Wales by the Welsh Government.