Local schools have made over 120,000 referrals for mental health treatment since 2014

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The number of referrals by schools seeking mental health treatment for troubled pupils has shot up by over a third in the last three years, the NSPCC reveals today.

In a Freedom of Information request to NHS Trusts in England the charity found schools seeking professional help for pupils from NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) made 123,713 referrals since 2014/15.

Worryingly most referrals (56%) came from primary schools. This could be a result of a lack of funding and services to support children in those settings.

The NSPCC is now calling on the Government with their Are You There? campaign to invest some of this funding into early support services for children. The NSPCC’s Childline service has seen a 26% increase in the number of counselling sessions with children about mental health issues over the past four years.

The news follows a damning Select Committees report from last week, which found that the Government’s £300m plans to improve mental health provision for children “lacks ambition and will provide no help to the majority of children who desperately need it.”

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