Safeguarding young people’s mental health | Letters

27/09/2017 Letters 0

Wendy Burn of the Royal College of Psychiatrists says we must boost the numbers of child and adolescent psychiatrists; while Cathy Street and Dinah Morley say society needs to do more to acknowledge the challenges facing mixed-race youngsters

It is very disappointing news that the number of child and adolescent psychiatrists has fallen almost 7% since 2013 (Number of NHS psychiatrists for children falling, 25 September) in the same year that the government pledged “focused action” to improve mental health support to help “our youngest and most vulnerable members of society receive the best start in life”. The government has pledged 100 more child and adolescent psychiatrists to help meet their target of treating 35% of children and young people with mental illness – which in itself is just the tip of the iceberg. The only way we can begin to tackle this unmet need is by persuading more trainee doctors to choose psychiatry. The government is trying to make it as easy as possible for trainee doctors to choose a career in child and adolescent psychiatry.

We are working closely with Health Education England to devise a range of measures aimed at boosting staff numbers. One example is a new training pathway that makes it easier for trainee psychiatrists who know they want to work with children to choose this speciality at the start of their training. The government acknowledges that half of all mental health conditions become established in people before the age of 14. Failing to value children and young people’s needs now risks leading to more long-term, costly problems in the future.
Professor Wendy Burn
President, Royal College of Psychiatrists

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How Tate St Ives can win round the locals | Brief letters

27/09/2017 Letters 0

Tate St Ives | New age nonsense | Harold Wilson in Chatham | Tony Booth | Reading Proust all through

The Tate organisation (The new Tate St Ives: great gallery, pity about the flats, 27 September) would probably get a more favourable reception from the people of Cornwall if it removed the entrance fee to the St Ives gallery. I have asked both Nicholas Serota and Maria Balshaw why all their other galleries have free entrance, but it costs £9.50 to go to the St Ives outpost. I can only imagine that they don’t like the Cornish? Perhaps if they removed this anomaly they would find less “local resistance” to their extension plans.
Roderick Clarke
Truro, Cornwall

• You print a photo of a man with buffalo horns placed on his back to increase blood circulation (You think you get back pain?, 27 September), but the accompanying caption ends with the ludicrous new age suggestion that this “helps to stimulate the flow of energy in the body”. Energy does not “flow”, blood does: this is straight out of Gwyneth Paltrow’s risible Goop Lab, which Rory Carroll recently anathematised (Sex dust and vampire repellent: a stroll through Gwyneth Paltrow’s first shop, 22 September).
Dr Richard Carter
London

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