People in contact with secondary mental health on rise

The number of people in contact with secondary mental health services in England is on the rise, according to figures released by NHS Digital.

Over 2.8 million people were recorded as being “in contact” with services provided by community mental health teams, crisis resolution and home treatment teams in 2019-20 compared with just over 2.7 million in 2018-19.

NHS Digital said people were “in contact” with services “if they have had an open referral with secondary mental health, learning disabilities and autism services” which might “include referrals which did not result in an attendance with a service or treatment being received".

The data, published in the Mental Health Bulletin, revealed 548,500 children and young people made their first contact with secondary mental health services in 2019-20 while children from the most deprived parts of the country were more than twice as likely to be in contact with those services than those from least deprived areas.

Nearly 31,000 people were in contact with secondary mental health services because of perinatal mental health problems and 70.5 black or black British people per 100,000 of the population “were in a mental health setting and underwent at least one restrictive intervention” compared with 18.7 white people per 100,000.

“Altogether 12,000 people in England were subject to at least one restrictive intervention in 2019/20,” NHS Digital said.

The data also revealed 8,400 white people “were subject to restrictive intervention” compared with 1,300 black or black British people.

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