Better mental health services for Mid-Cornwall

Update - 31 March 2017

Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay has welcomed today’s announcement that Cornwall will be getting a child and adolescent mental health unit.

Commenting, Steve said:

“I am absolutely delighted at this long-needed announcement. Since my election I have worked with my Cornish MP colleagues to lobby the Government on the absolute necessity for Cornwall to have an in-county mental health inpatient unit for children and young people”

“50% of mental health problems start before the age of 14 and 75% before the age of 18. Suicide is the leading cause of death in young men and is rising in women.”

“For too long we have had to see children and young people, at a time when they are most vulnerable, having to travel across the country to access badly needed support. This puts unbelievable strain both on them and their families, so a facility in Cornwall is absolutely essential.”

“I will now continue to work with colleagues both locally and in Westminster in order to ensure this facility gets up and running as soon as possible.”

“I am pleased to be part of this Conservative Government that has finally delivered on this desperate need for Cornwall’s children and young people.”

Commenting, Phil Confue, Chief Executive of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Today’s announcement is fantastic news for children and families locally.”

“We are absolutely delighted to have been given the go ahead for this unit which will provide a much needed service to some of our most vulnerable young people.”

“Previously children from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly had to travel out of county for this kind of service but this new unit will enable us to deliver care much closer to home. The ability to regularly see family and friends while in hospital is a key element in people’s recovery, and especially in the case of children.”

The news is part of a wider programme of investment in the NHS and a national commitment to reducing out of county placements for children and young people.

Original article

Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, has pledged to take on the unacceptable lack of progress in tackling young people’s mental health not just in Cornwall but across the country.

New figures from mental health research charity MQ show that four in 10 (42%)[1] people in the UK have come to believe that mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression are now an inevitable part of life, such is the lack of understanding and action around mental health.

84% say that not enough is being done to tackle mental illness for the future. And 68% of parents believe that having more education about mental illnesses could prevent suffering for future generations.

Three children in an average class are affected by a diagnosable mental illness. But many are waiting a decade between experiencing their first symptoms and getting help. Only a quarter of young people referred to services receive appropriate care.

Overall only £8 is spent on research per person affected on mental health in the UK, which is 22 times less than per person for cancer (£178) and 14 times less than dementia spend (£110).

And despite 75% of mental illness starting before the age of 18[2], less than 30% of the total mental health research spend is focused on children and young people. As a result, the majority of mental healthcare resources are not designed or developed for young people, leading to poor treatment outcomes in young people and hindering prevention efforts.

Commenting, Steve said:

“It’s time to give a s**t about mental illness. 5% of the population have a severe mental illness yet they account for 18% of total annual deaths. This would never be accepted for a physical condition.

In Cornwall we don’t have an inpatient mental health facility for young people and patients are sent hundreds of miles from their loved ones. This is simply not acceptable.

Radical change is needed now and it’s time to show you ‘give a s**t’ by swearing to take on mental illness.”

Neil Balmer, head of communications for MQ said:

 “We’re delighted that Mr Double has sworn to take on mental illness with us. He joins MPs from across the political parties in Westminster in championing the need for greater public awareness and support for life-changing mental health research.

“Today, three quarters of young people with a mental illness are going without the right support. And there’s a major lack of knowledge and evidence-based treatments to change this. We think that is unacceptable. Through research we can improve diagnosis and treatments so that the best help is available for each young person in need.”

Swear to take on mental health. Search #WeSwear on social media or visit for further information as to how you can help.

About MQ: Transforming Mental Health: MQ: Transforming Mental Health is the first major mental health research charity. Its aim is create a world where mental illness is understood, effectively treated, and ultimately prevented.

This year, the charity is bringing together leading scientists in an innovative world-class consortium to better understand how mental illness develops, identify those who are most at risk, develop effective interventions, and ensure they are implemented. Current research projects are investigating conditions including childhood psychosis, ADHD, depression, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia.

One in four people in the UK is living with a mental health condition. That’s nearly 15 million people with an illness that affects their wellbeing, their relationships with family and friends, and their ability to work.

 Children and young people’s mental illness perception research

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,276 children aged 8-15. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15-18 April 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB children (aged 8-15).

Funding and prevalence research

All figures are from MQ: MQ’s manifesto for young people’s mental health, 2016.


[1] YouGov/MQ and Forster: Mental illness research: children, April 2016

[2] MQ’s manifesto for young people’s mental health, 2016.