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Local Mental Health provision is failing our young people

The Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has called on the Welsh Government to do more to address the standards of care given to young people who are experiencing mental health difficulties.

The Welsh Government are staging a debate today noting "Welsh Government action to improve mental healthand well-being in Wales". Welsh Liberal Democrats have tabled amendments to the motion calling for more to be done to prevent young people being put on adult psychiatric wards, a completely inappropriate practice which has been going on for years and which the government has known about but has done nothing to address.

They are also calling for a national framework which will help reassure young people as they approach adulthood and face the prospect of losing contact with trusted counsellors and therapists within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) category.

"A clear example of the Welsh Government's failure can be seen here in South Wales West at the specialist CAMHS in-patient facility in Bridgend, which is one of just two in Wales," said Mr. Black.

"The business case for the unit included provision for a number of emergency beds, but the 2013 review found that these have not been delivered. The unit does not have the capacity originally planned for, and this has resulted in costly out-of-area placements.

"In fact, an audit by the Welsh Health Specialised Services found that 21 of the 41 patients discharged between 2011 and April 2013 had been 'originally referred out of area due to the limited capacity of the CAMHS units in Wales.'

"After a decade of talking about CAMHS in Wales, we need action from the Welsh Labour Government not more patting themselves on the back in motions they put before the Assembly."

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