Call to Enhance Child Mental Health Services on the Isle of Man

A charity, A Little Piece of Hope, is urging the Manx government to allocate more funds to improve children’s mental health services on the Isle of Man.

The organization, which provides support to bereaved families and ill children, is highlighting the need for mental health action to address waiting lists for mental health support.

Trustee Helen Sheppard from the charity has observed a surge in parents reaching out for assistance with their children’s mental health issues.

She stressed that the government should take more proactive measures to address the problem and allocate additional resources to ensure timely and effective support for young people.

Last year, it was revealed that around 1,300 children aged four to 17 were either receiving or waiting for treatment from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) on the Isle of Man.

However, a lack of a comprehensive multi-agency strategy has contributed to backlogs and delays in providing necessary care.

The charity has been stepping in to address gaps in the system, spending approximately £7,000 on early diagnosis initiatives and £4,000 on therapeutic support.

A significant portion of this funding has been allocated for private mental health assessments, aimed at facilitating early diagnoses for conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

However, these assessments come at a substantial cost of nearly £700 each, making them inaccessible for most families.

The charity emphasizes that such expenses should ideally be covered by the government to ensure equitable access to mental health services for all children.

In response, Manx Care, the government agency responsible for healthcare, stated that it supports the Thrive Framework, a needs-led multi-agency approach designed to address the mental health and well-being needs of children, young adults up to 25 years old, and their caregivers.

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This framework aims to foster collaboration among different agencies to ensure timely and appropriate support is provided to individuals.

While efforts are being made to address the mental health needs of young people on the Isle of Man, there is still a need for increased funding and coordinated strategies to ensure that mental health services are accessible, efficient, and responsive to the needs of children and families.




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