Sternberg Reed – Young People and Mental Health Units
Sky News published a study which detailed that 53% of young people detained in mental health units stayed for longer then 6 weeks. This figure is 48% in NHS units and rises to 57% in private units.
Young people are often at a serious crisis point when detained in a PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) setting. The point of a PICU is to manage the risks and crises that the person is facing. Usually at the point of entry into a mental health unit. It is unacceptable that 1 in 2 young people detained end up staying longer then 6 weeks.
1 in 4 stay for 3 months longer. 1 in 10 for 6 months or longer and 11 children stayed for over a year. A lot more needs to be done to invest in providing expert and necessary care. Particularly for young people who face a crisis.
They need to be effectively treated and managed. Aiming to getting them out of such an intensive setting and into wards where they can be treated. Reintegrated in the best manner for their own mental state.
“The government are pledging to invest more. I agree more needs to be done to invest in existing units to get them to be outstanding. However more also needs to be done to help assist young people before it gets to a crisis point as well.”
I often advocate for increasing more money in community services and alongside this, more needs to be done to continue having conversations about mental health in homes and schools so that young people don’t have to access the PICU service.
But if they do need to, we need to ensure that they get the best care possible and make sure that this is achieved within 6 weeks and no young person should ever have to spend more time in a PICU environment beyond this.
Umar Kankiya is Head of Mental Health Department here at Sternberg Reed, specialising in all aspects of the Mental Health Act. If you want to find out more and see how Umar and Sternberg Reed could help you, click HERE
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