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£2m boost for children’s mental healthservices

Norman Lamb, Care and Support Minister has announced £2m will be used to fund new handheld computers that will improve children’s mental health services.

Children and young people will use tablet computers in therapy sessions to help them – and their therapist – determine how close they are to achieving treatment goals.

Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb said: “Acting early to help children with mental health problems can prevent a lifetime of suffering as half of those with lifelong mental health problems first experience symptoms before the age of 14.

“This technology helps children and young people see how their treatment is progressing. Where treatment is not going as well as it could, practitioners can then change their approach to get the best results.

“Children and young people have told us how much it helps them to see how their treatment is going and these new devices do just that.”

The initiative will be rolled out to 42 sites across England. Therapists can also use the handheld computers to record sessions for comment on feedback from their supervisors. The time therapists and administrators currently spend recording outcomes will also be cut dramatically.

Earlier this year, the department published the Mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board with a clear objective to put mental health on a par with physical health and to extend and ensure more open access to the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme in particular for children and young people and for those out of work.