(UK) 26% increase in kids' mental health referrals in England "despite a pop. decline"

Oct 7, 2018, Independent: Number of children referred to mental health services in England rises by a quarter The number of children referred to mental health services in England has risen by more than a quarter in the last five years – but one in four are being denied support, according to new report. At least 55,800 children were denied access to child and adolescent mental health services in England despite being referred last year amid cuts to services, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) says. Often these referrals were rejected because the child’s condition was deemed to be “not serious enough” to warrant treatment – and yet children who had self-harmed or experienced abuse were among those denied access, the report finds. … The increasing strain on social services comes as the number of referrals to specialist children’s mental health services has risen by 26 per cent over the last five years, despite a population decline…. Anna Cole, parliamentary and inclusion specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “This bleak picture of vulnerable young people being turned away from specialist mental health services, or facing long waiting times for treatment, is all too familiar to schools…. David Laws, executive chairman of the EPI, said: “This report shows a significant increase in demand for children’s mental health services over the last five years, even as many local authorities are having to cut back on the services they are providing…. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are transforming mental health services for children and young people with an additional £1.4bn [$1.8B US dollars] and are on track to ensure that 70,000 more children a year have access to specialist mental healthcare by 2020/21….