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'Children's mental health needs radical overhaul'

Children's mental health services in England are “crying out” for a complete overhaul, Care Minister Norman Lamb has said. 

Lamb said that young people with conditions such as depression, schizophrenia and drug and alcohol problems are being isolated from the care they need because of a “hopeless” system where services are commissioned by four organisations. 

Speaking in an interview with The Independent, Lamb said that health professionals and politicians “talk in a language that no-one understands”. 

A new taskforce launched by the politician will create an accessible “one-stop shop” young people's mental health service. 

The taskforce, made up of children's mental health experts and former service users, will make recommendations to improve the services. A report is due to be published form the group next spring. 

Lamb told The Independent: “There is an institutional bias against mental health, partly it's because the media doesn't concentrate on it. 

“If the media stays silent, local commissioners, if they are not driven by doing the right thing, may make bad decisions. There needs to be the same focus on mental health as there is on cancer services, stroke services, knee replacements and so on.”