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Friday, Dec 09, 2022

In my school, as in others, there are not the funds to support children | Letter

In my school, as in others, there are not the funds to support children | Letter

Letter: A trainee psychotherapist on placement in a London comprehensive describes how adequate provision of mental healthcare is impossible when resources are so thinly stretched
I am a trainee child and adolescent psychotherapist and have been working in a placement in a large comprehensive school in north London. I am the only child psychotherapist in the school, which has many students with extremely complex mental health difficulties, many of whom with severe special needs.

The head of special educational needs told me earlier in the year that school should be about education and not sorting out mental health issues (Letters, 25 May). If the school has any funding, they will spend it on a new teacher, not on a child psychotherapist who can only see up to five students a day.

Her words reflected the stress and huge anxiety in the school system, and how thinly spread many of the staff feel. There is a strong desire to have specific funding for child psychotherapists and mental health workers.

Child and adolescent mental health services have extremely long waiting lists, and if help is given, it is often too late.

I am also losing my job in an inner-city primary school, which also has very young children with severe trauma. The headteacher has had to let me go due to lack of funds, even though she takes mental health issues extremely seriously.

I am very concerned that trained child and adolescent psychotherapists will not get jobs in schools due to lack of funding, and so huge numbers of young people will suffer alone and unsupported unnecessarily.

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