Hi, I’m Tom. I’ve been receiving help for my mental struggles for the last four or five years
Major depressive and panic disorders…
I’ve been getting better under the child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
But now I’ve been told that my treatment will stop.
And it’s all because I’m about to turn 18.
In the UK, that’s when child care ends,
and adult care should begin.
But the problem is that many young people get lost in the gap
even if they need more care
and I’ve been told I won’t be transferred to adult services unless I get much, much worse.
So I’m ill enough for one system.
But apparently not the other.
People are left feeling neglected
I’m Jackie Doyle Price, I’m the minister for mental health and suicide prevention.
Honestly I just think she’s really out of touch…
The idea that my treatment just ends
the morning I turn 18
doesn’t make any sense to me.
It’s been five months since I’ve been very close
to ending my life…
As a mum, when you know that your child has wanted to, or thought about, ending their life
you just never sleep properly again.
Come August, he will turn 18 and then
if he relapses and is bad,
there’s no continuity, he can’t go back to any of the people that he’s been dealing with
up until that point…
Do you want some tissue?
I’ve come to London to talk to Prof Swaran Singh to find out about
transitions between child care and
adult care for mental health.
We think about 50% of young people who are receiving care from child services
and who need ongoing care,
simply fall off the cliff edge
and that 50% figure is surprisingly consistent.
It’s a very, very big problem
and it’s a shocking figure.
Why don’t you think that’s the case?
Look, everyone doesn’t need a transition.
Our aim is not to keep people permanently in services. People get better.
But child and adult services,
they operate very differently,
they have very different criteria
they have a very different threshold of who they consider ill enough.
So young people who are receiving care can hit a brick wall, you know?
Suddenly nothing is available.
So what we’ve been trying to do is somehow get the two services to work together
so those young people who need a transition of care make this smooth journey.
The promise is there. Without a doubt the government has committed to investment
but we have not seen change on the ground.
The rhetoric simply does not match the reality.
It’s been lovely meeting you, good luck.
Inside those buildings over there
is where all the decisions about how our country is run are made.
And this is one of the first times there’s been
such a concrete, tactile implication for me
and my future.
So I’m Jackie Doyle Price, I’m the minister for mental health and suicide prevention.
We recognise that actually for young people as they’re growing up
there is not suddenly this cliff edge where they suddenly go from child to adult
it’s much more complex than that.
So we’ll be making more services available, treating young people right up until they’re 25
so that we don’t have that cliff-edge transition that some people experience at the moment.
This brings me on to Thomas’ second question.
What are you planning to do for people like him who will turn 18 in a few months’ time?
He’s not going to get referred to adult care.
Someone like Thomas really should have a care plan as part of his treatment
so that we are properly managing him
through a process…
you know clearly, if he is anxious about it,
then that is something we would expect services to work with him on.
I don’t know where Thomas lives,
but we’re very clear
that we expect we expect all areas to treat young people up to the age of 25
because we see that in some areas they have been using 18 as a cut-off, others haven’t
and we’ve seen better care for those that have actually already started
treating people up to the age of 25.
So where is it in place then now?
And if they can do it elsewhere, then why aren’t they doing it in Surrey?
Honestly I just think she’s really out of touch.
Just give me a minute…
Yeah I’m fine.
Let’s just carry on.
I’ve spoken to some clinicians who work in CAMHS and say
you can be treated in CAMHS for one thing
but then your criteria needs to be a lot more severe to then need help in adult care
so it does seem to be that
there is a slightly different model that operates within adult services.
I don’t actually accept that.
Access to care is based on clinical need
and obviously that will be the judgement of individual clinicians.
To be frank, if anything we’ve had less access to CAMHS services than we have adult,
so I would expect Thomas to find it much easier to access care
as an adult than he would as a child.
I don’t want to speak because I’m not…
No I can’t stop thinking of expletives so…
Can we stop for a bit?
I feel exasperated.
Yeah I feel a bit deflated actually…
The model of treating people once they are in crisis is broken… it doesn’t work.
And what a waste of money.
Why aren’t they doing things to help people before they get to crisis point?
All I can hope for in the next couple of months is to stay mostly stable.
I need to remain calm for the next two months, simply because
I’m not sure anything concrete is going to change in that time.
I’m pleased for the young people coming after Thomas who will get the right care
because they are obviously trying
to put things right
and I totally understand that
they can’t just say,
“Right we are going to do this,”
and it happens immediately.
I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me.
I think that you’ve been not only instrumental but vital for me staying here.
And I’m really glad that you were because, I kind of like the spot that I’m in at the moment.
So thank you.
Love you darling
I’d do it all again.
Let’s hope you don’t have to.