Mental health referrals in Fylde coast schools more than double
The number of children referred for mental health treatment by schools on the Fylde coast has more than doubled, a leading children's charity has revealed.
Figures released by the NSPCC show more than 214 children were referred for specialist support in 2017/18 compared with 95 in the previous year.
A total of 403 children have been referred in the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust area –which includes Fylde and Wyre – in the last four years.
Nationally, the report shows that the number of children referred for mental health support has risen by more than a third in the past three years.
A total of 34,757 referrals for specialist support across the country were made by schools in 2017-18 - the equivalent of 183 every school day. This is compared to 25,140 referrals in 2014-15.
More than half – 56 per cent – of the referrals nationally came from primary schools, where children are under the age of 11, the research found.
The NSPCC warned increased demand for services was placing the system under pressure and jeopardising the well-being of thousands of children.
It called for more funding for its Childline service to help relieve some of the pressure.
Peter Wanless, chief executive of the charity, said: “Our research shows schools are increasingly referring children for specialist mental health treatment, often when the child is at crisis point.
“We have seen a marked increase in counselling about mental health, and fully expect it to continue.”
The NSPCC’s data, obtained via Freedom of Information requests, covers 53 of the 66 health trusts known to provide mental health support to children.
The statistics also revealed that nearly a third – 31 per cent – of those referred to NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) were declined specialist treatment.