The terrible cost of neglecting children’s mental health | Letters

There is a lack of political will to solve the chronic shortage of mental health beds, writes James Downs, while Adrian Ward says successive cuts have decimated children’s services

The distressing story of children being admitted to general wards because mental health beds aren’t available (Sharp rise in acute medical beds occupied by children with nowhere else to go, 13 September) is a story that’s been told time and again, including in my own life as someone who has lived with an eating disorder since my teens.

, The terrible cost of neglecting children’s mental health | Letters, The Nzuchi Times Guardian

As a child, I was admitted to a paediatric ward with anorexia, but never saw a member of staff who specialised in mental health. As a young adult, I was on many general wards as a result of overdoses or eating disorder symptoms, but was always discharged without ever seeing a psychiatrist. It shouldn’t be a surprise that as an adult, I live with entrenched mental health problems that could have been prevented with the right care when I was younger. This is a hugely false economy played out in the lives of so many people.

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