Support for children and young people with complex mental health needs will be given a boost following extra investment of £2m.
This new funding will enable the recruitment of additional mental health professionals meaning quicker assessment and access to treatment and better ongoing support.
The decision by the governing bodies of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups to increase funding follows a rise in demand for mental health services across the area and a subsequent increase in waiting times.
The funding will see the expansion of the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAHMS) with more clinical staff offering a broader range of mental health expertise and support for evidence-based interventions and treatment.
The extra money will also be used to bolster the teams which target those children and young people with mental health needs who are known to social care and who are more likely to present themselves for care at hospitals or be involved of the social justice system – increasing support and interventions to better support their needs.
This financial support is part of the ongoing programme to improve local mental health services, which includes plans for much greater collaboration with community and voluntary sector organisations, working with current providers, that will result in better outcomes for those with mental health needs.
Richard Watson, deputy chief executive, NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups, said: “Our young people are facing a tough and challenging time and the need for mental wellbeing help and support has never been needed more.
“Everyone should be able to access mental health support quickly and easily, yet we know people are waiting too long as more and more people come forward.
“This extra funding aims to address this as part of the wider programme of improvements to mental health services locally.
“Our young people are our future and we are determined to do all we can so they can live happy and fulfilling lives.”
Stuart Richardson, chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), said: “We welcome this additional investment, which recognises that these vital services require further support in order to provide the best possible care for children and young people.
“The funding will help us to offer quicker assessment and treatment so that we can better meet the needs of these young people while also managing increases in demand