Schools made 1,360 mental health referrals last year – as trust makes progress on new facility at St Ann’s Hospital

An artist's impression of the new mental health inpatient building, also showing the new main entran

An artist's impression of the new mental health inpatient building, also showing the new main entrance to St Anns Hospital. Picture: Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust - Credit: Archant

Schools in Barnet, Enfield and Haringey referred 1,360 children for mental health treatment in the last year.

The pupils were referred to Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust – which had the third highest number of referrals in the whole of London and the south east.

The data, obtained by the NSPCC’s Childline help service, paints a bleak picture of young people’s mental health in the three boroughs over the past four years.

There were also 1,257 referrals to the trust in 2016/17, 1,217 in 2015/16 and 1,247 in 2014/15.

The NSPCC is using the figures to call for greater government investment in early support services for children.

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Wendy Robinson, manager of Childline, said: “Our research shows schools are increasingly referring children for specialist mental health treatment, often when the child is at crisis point.

“Childline plays a vital role in supporting children with their mental health, and many turn to us when they are struggling to get access to specialist treatment. Early counselling from Childline could also help relieve the pressure.

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“We have seen a marked increase in counselling about mental health, and fully expect it to continue. It is vital that government urgently provides more funding to Childline and help children who don’t have access to support elsewhere.”

But there has been better news for Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust with major advances made in the redevelopment plans for St Ann’s Hospital.

It has now agreed the sale of part of the site, which the NHS doesn’t need, for City Hall to build housing. The trust will use the proceeds to fund its new mental health inpatient building, which got planning permission from Haringey Council earlier this year.

It will replace the three current adult wards and specialist eating disorder ward. Construction is expected to start next year for completion in 2021.

Trust chairman Michael Fox and interim chief exec Andy Graham said: “This is very exciting news for the trust, our patients and our staff. It means that the current wards at St Ann’s Hospital will be replaced by brand new, state-of-the-art facilities, which will be among the best in the country.”

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