Thursday, 3 March 2016

Is NHS Child Mental Health Failing Our Kids?

This is a post that I suppose I never really thought about writing until recently. With the trauma of everything that happened in our life and as a family, it has taken its toll on our family. I am Mum and I need to be strong - strong enough to take the sadness from the older kids as well as Tilly. We chose not to tell Tilly the details of the paedophile that invaded my family and took one of my older daughters, I couldn't understand it myself so how could I expect a 5 year old to understand it. But now I have been left with the feeling of even more guilt as Tilly is suffering because she just thinks her sister walked out one day and never came back. She cries everyday and asks me if her sister has forgotten her. It wasn't until she told me about the story they learned at school about internet security and I realised that maybe she does understand whats happened and I had made it worse by not telling her the truth (or a very toned down version). Even as I write this blog post at 2am, she has just come down stairs crying for her sister.

It took a while for me to come to the realisation that I simply can't manage this anymore at home without professional help and that if we don't help Tilly now as a young child, then she may well struggle as she gets older. The Doctor listened and said that it sounds like she is suffering from PTSD or most certainly depression. He couldn't give us a definite answer but referred us to CAHMS for some treatment. I felt such a relief that we were getting her some help. Kimmy has just moved out and Zach is due to move abroad in a month, so to her it seems like she is losing all her siblings. She asks me If I will leave and I keep saying no. So I thought we would get something put in place to help her deal with the changes in her life, and to know that although her siblings are leaving, they won't forget her.

It has almost been a month since we were referred to CAHMS and so far we haven't heard anything about an appointment. But after researching child mental health, i have come to realise that it isn't going to be as easy as I had hoped. Firstly I keep hearing some negative things about the child mental health department in the part of East Kent where we live and upon further research, thanks to google I have since discovered there are some major failings in the whole of the child mental health departments throughout the UK.

2/3rds of local authorities have cut their budget for child and young peoples mental health, so with there now being less staff and less hours to see the same amount of children with mental health problems it will be very very easy for some of them to slip through the net and have to deal with more intense problems as they get older. Failure to help the young people when they need the help will often lead to them ending up in prison or relying on drugs and alcohol to cope with their problems. This simply isn't good enough for 2016.

Even last year Duchess of Cambridge got involved in the debate of there still being a taboo in child mental health and how we need to provide more help for a generation full of children, who are being failed. She is a great ambassador for the cause as she is full of compassion and her and Prince William are committed to helping where they can.

So all the time my child is on the waiting list to see someone about her mental health, I am asking myself whether or not I am doing the right thing and whether they will fail my daughter too. Because if they fail my daughter, I will use my voice, my very loud voice to get something done about the failings in child mental health.

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