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College lecturer Robert Collins believes the service failed his son Mitch, who in 2019 took his life aged 16 after initially being told his anxiety and depression did not meet the specialist support criteria.
The teenager and his family were told to “come back in six months” but despite later getting CAMHS treatment, his condition worsened.
“Six months of suffering with mental health issues is a lifetime,” Robert said.
Petition: Robert Collins. Below, his son Mitch “I’ve heard from countless parents whose children are either rejected by CAMHS or forced to wait. Sadly, sometimes the help when it arrives is too late.”
The Mitch’s Law petition aims to make it easier for charities and schools to intervene and provide support before children reach crisis. More than 13,000 people have already signed up.
Robert said: “I believe Mitch would be here with us today if he had received the help he needed at the start. He did eventually get a CAMHS referral but the support was not consistent and not enough for what he was going through.”
The 50-year-old from Kidderminster, Worcs, added: “CAMHS is failing our children massively and it shouldn’t be like this. CAMHS is so overstretched so this will take some of the pressure off and help avert issues that are devastating and life-changing.”
“Children and their families shouldn’t have to wait.”
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