If a child is diagnosed with diabetes, they get continuous and ongoing support from the NHS right through from diagnosis into adulthood and beyond. This is how healthcare should be. There should be prevention and screening (where appropriate) and where problems are identified they should be addressed immediately and continuously for as long as the need exists. We accept this model of healthcare for almost every physical disease. Vaccines prevent a range of diseases, regular screening helps to identify cancers early and where we identify a problem treatment is ongoing and continuous. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but we have come a very long way in the past century or so.
There is still a whole category of health problems, costing the UK £105bn per year, with enormous impact on life chances for which there is no routine screening, very little in the way of prevention and a complete lack of support services for those aged 16-17. Doesn’t this seem a little ludicrous? In this article, a 22 year old talks about her experience suffering from this type of health issue. We are talking about mental health issues.
We could have routine mental health screening and preventative treatment in schools. We absolutely should not see child mental health as a completely separate entity to adult mental health. We must end the ludicrous lack of provision in the gap between child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and their adult equivalents. It is good to see that people are starting to pay attention to the issue.