Teenagers kept in temporary mental health units for over a year

More than half of young people have reported that they are staying in mental health units for longer than the recommended stay of six months.

According to campaigners and the young people’s parents, these long stays are damaging the mental health of young people further.

Psychiatric intensive care units (PICUs) are acute hospital wards which admit people who have reached crisis point. Patients may be suicidal, violent or experiencing psychotic episodes.

Ferndene hospital in Northumberland runs one of the only PICUs in the country with an outstanding rating from the regulator the Care and Quality Commission.

They are focusing on equipping young people with the skills they need and they hold meetings with everyone to ensure that the children who are there do not stay their longer than they need to.

An NHS spokesperson said: “At least 20 additional PICU beds have been commissioned, and while transformation won’t happen overnight, this work is starting to make a difference.”

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