Father concerned over support given to his daughter

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THE father of a teenage girl suffering from mental health problems is worried a lack of support could lead to fatal consequences.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, fears the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is understaffed and not helping his teenage daughter.

He spoke out after admitting to harassment for repeatedly calling the service between April and August last year.

He was given a six-month supervision order and banned from calling CAMHS, apart from one named worker, for five years. He was also ordered by Fareham Magistrates’ Court not to attend certain venues run by the service, fined £100, and told to pay £75 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

But the father, who lives in the Gosport area, said he only called the service when Hampshire police contacted him raising concerns about his teenage daughter.

He said: ‘CAMHS is under resourced, and don’t do what they say they will do.

‘When my daughter was released from hospital, she was only released on the agreement that CAMHS would provide support.

‘That was a sham. My daughter gets into trouble and is picked up by the police.

‘They tell social services, but not the mental health people, so I tried to tell them.’

The father said his daughter has previously tried to commit suicide and that he is concerned for her welfare.

He added: ‘I don’t want her to be a victim. I want reassurances that this won’t happen again. If they promote a service, then that’s what they should provide. I don’t want my daughter to fall through an ever-widening NHS funding gap.’

The CAMHS service is run by the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust, which said it has seen an increase in referrals.

A spokesman said: ‘In Hampshire, the number of young people referred to the service has risen by 51 per cent in the past three years.

‘Services across the country are seeing a similar rise in demand. We work closely with young people and their families to try to ensure they get the most appropriate treatment.’

Papyrus is a national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. It is also concerned there is not enough support for young people.

Chairman Stephen Habgood said: ‘We are not criticising those dedicated staff who work in children’s services.

‘But too many cuts have been made and something has to be done to improve the provision of services to vulnerable young people.’