The Welsh Government has pledged a new investment of £9.4m for mental health services specifically for children and young people in Wales.
The announcement of the additional funding comes at a time in which schools remain closed to most pupils in Wales due to the current Alert Level 4 lockdown restrictions in the country. The funding recognises the effects of young people being away from school and other regular support networks during the Coronavirus pandemic, according to the Welsh Government.
£4m in funding will be provided to improve access to emotional and mental health and wellbeing support in schools as part of the Whole Systems Approach, while a further £5.4m will go towards Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to support young people who need more intensive support.
Speaking about the new funding, Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing Eluned Morgan said;
“This significant investment in mental health services for children and young people shows we recognise the impact the pandemic is having on them and are doing everything we can to improve access to support.
“We understand that getting the right support at the right time, in many cases, can prevent longer-term adverse effects, and that’s why we’re making access to support a priority.
“We continue to spend more on mental health than any other part of NHS and I’m proud that we are supporting our services with additional investment in the draft Budget.”
The funding comes on top of other mental health funding provided by the Welsh Government to support people of all ages during the pandemic. The Government’s Minister for Finance, Rebecca Evans said;
“The pandemic is having a real impact on the mental health of people of all ages, not least children and young people. The support we are providing for mental health services as part of the 2021-22 Budget signifies our continued commitment to these very important services.”
The announcement of new mental health funding comes at the start of Children’s Mental Health Week. Launched in 2015, the week aims to increase awareness of the importance of children and young people’s mental health.
Mental health problems can affect anyone, but young people are particularly likely to face mental health challenges. According to children’s mental health charity Place2Be, 1 in 6 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health problem, many of which continue to have these problems into adulthood.
For links to Mental Health Support, click here. In an emergency, always phone 999.