Mental ill health is one of the main health issues for young people in Northern Ireland but services are currently underfunded and until recently there has not been enough research to show the full scale of the problem. The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service or CAMHS, receives less than 8% of the overall budget for mental health services in Northern Ireland even though Government has said it should receive 10%. Waiting times for children and young people to get the help they need have also increased over recent years.
Studies shows that mental health problems are common in children and young people in Northern Ireland with 1 in 8 experiencing anxiety or depression – this 25% higher than other areas in the UK. Now that more is known about the scale of the problem, NICCY will keep an eye on how Government makes improvements to mental health services for children and young people.