Over recent years, there has been a heightened awareness of a ‘national crisis’ regarding care and support for children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing (Cooper, 2014). There has been a realisation of growing levels of need that are significant and profound (Collishaw et al., 2010), which has been sitting alongside a recognition that past expenditure on and provision of services has been woefully insufficient (Fonagy, 2014). Being able to generate a cross-party-political consensus on the need for increased funding for young people’s mental health during the 2015 general election (YoungMinds, 2015), despite campaigning within the economic paradigm of the case for ‘austerity’, goes some way to illustrate the magnitude of this crisis. However, this appreciation of need has also allowed for closer inspection of what is being offered and provided through current services and asking whether the present model of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services is ‘fit for purpose’.
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