Minister unveils details of £7.6m for young people’s mental health services

The Welsh Government has unveiled details of the extra £7.6m funding for young people’s mental health services it announced earlier in the year.

The extra £7.6m will be invested every year in child and adolescent mental health services in Wales to ensure young people receive the right treatment at the right time, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said today.

£2.7m will support the NHS-led service change and development of CAMHS, which was launched earlier this year. It will also support specialist services, ensuring young people are assessed when they present in crisis at an A&E department or are arrested under s136 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

A further £1.1m will be invested to support the development of psychological therapies for children and young people across Wales.

Other investments include:

  • £2m for the assessment and treatment of ADHD, autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions, which will improve the provision of services for young people
  • £800,000 will be used to increase the capacity of local primary care mental health teams to support young people preventing the need for children to be referred to specialist services unnecessarily
  • £800,000 will be invested in earlier intervention for young people developing psychosis between the ages of 15 and 24
  • £250,000 is being made available to develop services for the most vulnerable young people who are already in – or are at danger of entering – the youth justice system.

Professor Drakeford said:

“Across Wales, CAMHS teams work tirelessly to support children and young people with emotional and mental health needs.

“Last month, I announced we would be investing an additional £7.6m every year in child and adolescent mental health services across Wales.

“Today, I’m pleased to confirm this money is going to be used to ensure children and young people and their families receive the right support, at the right time.”

The Minister has also announced details of an extension to the Discretionary Assistance Fund, which will provide financial support for parents, carers and family members to visit children who are receiving specialist inpatient treatment.

The key features of the fund are:

  • No restrictions on the number of family members who will be eligible
  • No restrictions on the frequency of visits during treatment
  • No geographical eligibility threshold will apply from the child’s normal place of residence to the inpatient facility providing the treatment.

Professor Drakeford said:

“I am pleased to announce the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty and I have agreed to make financial support available to help family members to visit and maintain contact with their children when they receive CAMHS inpatient treatment.  

“Being in hospital is a stressful time for anyone, even more so when it is a child who is receiving treatment for a mental illness away from home. As there are only two CAMHS inpatient units in Wales, it can be difficult for families to cover the cost of regular visiting.  

“We also know that being able to maintain contact with family and loved ones is an important part of many young people’s treatment, which is why the Welsh Government is pleased to be able to offer this support from the Discretionary Assistance Fund.”