'I hit brick walls' says guardian fighting for child mental health support


A guardian has spoken of her frustration at trying to access mental health services for an 11-year-old child. (Stock image) - Credit: Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

The guardian of an 11-year-old has spoken of her struggle to access mental health services for the child.

Her name is being withheld to protect the youngster’s identity, but she says she’s “amazed” at what she feels could be a lack of support for children in Wisbech.

She says it has been a battle to access any kind of services through her GP and “hit brick walls” when she contacted various mental health and children's charities.

But the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the body which funds and commissions health services, has said age-related support is there for children.

The guardian said: “This little girl has been through a lot of difficult things in her short life so far and says she wants to get help.

“I’m trying to be a proactive and responsible guardian; I want to address these issues now before they become even more serious.

“And I’m amazed at what a battle it has been over the last three months.

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“It was an effort to get an appointment to see a GP and there, we were given a leaflet and told to contact a children's mental health charity.

“But our application to get support through the charity was rejected, and I’ve since found out it was because she’s under 14. I also contacted various other mental health and children’s charities – and they also couldn’t help.”

She added: “I hit brick walls and had so many doors slammed in my face.

“I cannot believe in 2021 that there isn’t anyone who will listen to this little girl, especially when so many are advocating for children’s mental health including The Royal Family and celebrities.”

It remains unclear how this has happened because access to health services should be the same for any patient registered with a GP practice within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

A spokesperson for the CCG said: “There is a wide range of mental health services and support available for children and young people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“Some of our services are age-related to ensure the support offered is tailored appropriately for each individual’s needs.”

The guardian has since transferred the youngster to a different GP practice which she says has told her it can help.

She has also decided to pay £30 an hour for a private counsellor for the child to get some initial professional support.

Young People's Counselling Service to be opened at Love Lane, Wisbech

The Young People's Counselling Service, a children's mental health charity, is opening a centre at St Peter's Lodge, Love Lane, in Wisbech. - Credit: Young People's Counselling Service

Meanwhile The Young People’s Counselling Service - a charity which delivers free mental health services for children and young people - announced it will open a centre in Wisbech later in the year.

It will be located at St Peter’s Lodge, in Love Lane.