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Major boost to youth mental health workforce

Around 4,500 more people have joined the NHS children’s mental health services in England – 40% more than before the pandemic

Around 4,500 more people have joined the NHS children’s mental health services in England – 40% more than before the pandemic.

Between March 2019 and March 2022 the NHS mental health workforce has grown by 18,583 full time staff, with the children and young people workforce increasing by almost 4,500.

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‘There has never been a more important time to work in children’s mental health – demand for NHS services has skyrocketed over the last two years with the pandemic taking a significant toll on the nation’s wellbeing,’ said Claire Murdoch, NHS Mental Health Director.

‘Thousands of new staff have already joined the ranks, as the NHS launches even more brand new roles to meet record demand across the country to provide specialist support for children and young people to help with the pressures they face.’

The new recruits include dozens of psychological practitioners to specifically help young people aged 13 to 17 years-old with severe mental health problems such as severe depression, self-harm and more complex conditions, by offering them assessments, coping strategies and support in the community.

In the year up to April 2022 over 677,000 children and young people were supported by NHS services – an increase of around 163,000 since the launch of the NHS Long Term Plan.

‘It’s great news and extremely important that the mental health workforce in England is growing. Collaborative effort with the NHS, charities and those who use our services has been vital to achieve this. Demand for services has risen and to provide safe, effective quality services we need the right support available at the right time and in the right place,’ said Mark Radford, Chief Nurse at HEE.

‘This growth involved creating new roles which offer tailored support alongside building the skills, knowledge and abilities of our existing mental health workforce, with a focus on using those who use mental health services to create learning programmes for the people who work with them – so their needs inform everything that we do. It is essential that we continue to invest in education and training to grow the workforce further.’