Young people are having to travel 200 miles for mental health treatment

Another grim statistic about the NHS mental health services

A Guardian investigation has revealed that young people suffering with their mental health are being forced to travel hundreds of miles away to receive NHS treatment.

Due to bed shortages some have travelled as far as 285 miles from their homes, away from their families while being treated for self-harm, suicidal thoughts, severe depression, eating disorders, psychosis and personality disorders. NHS England has acknowledged that the isolation of vulnerable patients could be damaging with some experts warning that it could “be frightening for them, reduces their chances of recovery and increases their risk of self-harm”

According to the NHS’s own policy, remaining close to home and their support network is paramount to recovery. It reads: “Patients should be treated in a location which helps them to retain the contact they want to maintain with family, carers and friends and to feel as familiar as possible with the local environment”.

This comes just days after figures this week that showed a record number of teenage girls are self-harming, in a clear demonstration of a young mental health crisis in the UK. A survey reveals that a quarter of girls aged 14 had purposely inflicted damage on themselves and that the number of girls under the age of 18 being treated for self-harm related injuries has almost doubled over the last 20 years.

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