Children’s mental health has suffered the “collateral damage” of Covid-19, a Welsh Parliament committee has said.

The warning comes as two reports hear complaints that some young people struggle to get the help they need.

More than two years ago an inquiry called for the tackling of emotional and mental health issues in children to be made a national priority.

But a follow-up by the Senedd’s Children’s Committee says improvements to services are happening too slowly.

Meanwhile, a separate report by Wales’ Youth Parliament says the pandemic is having a big impact on children and young people.

The Welsh Government said it was responding to changing mental health needs due to the impact of the pandemic.

It comes as a Welsh Government shake-up saw Eluned Morgan put in charge of a range of health issues, including mental health, dementia and autism.

The Children’s Committee says:

  • Welsh Government reassurances about out-of-hours and crisis care are “disappointingly thin”
  • There are “too many reports of limited options” for children who need help but do not reach the threshold for specialist services
  • Although progress is happening in education, Senedd members were “far less confident that the pace of change in health and local government (including social services) is sufficient”

The report also raises concerns about prescribing for children and the way some young patients are admitted to inpatient units.

In its report, the Youth Parliament says children and parents were not aware of the help on offer to them.

Read more: BBC News


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