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Counselling for teenagers makes for economic and social good sense

November 24, 2008

The UK media have created a consensual image of adolescents as feral and beyond help. Following that thinking we should be building more prisons than schools. Is there another way of looking at the phenomena of youth crime and disaffection?

A severe psychiatric disorder in children and young people costs society as much as £1.5 billion every year owing to a lack of available treatment, a charity think tank said.

Heads Up, a report published by New Philanthropy Capital NPC, showed that cost savings of £244 million to £376 million could be achieved by reaching out to all children and adolescents with conduct disorder.

Sufferers tend towards highly antisocial behaviour, such as fighting, stealing, vandalism and harming people and animals.

The NPC said the disorder often led to truancy and exclusion from school, crime and anti-social behaviour.

The calculations were based on youngsters aged eight to 25 and took into account the costs to the criminal justice system and the NHS, education and social care costs and lost earnings.

The NPC referred to Government statistics from 2006, which showed three in four under-18-year-olds suffering from mental health problems were not receiving the treatment they needed.

The think tank said the scale of the issue was “startling”, with many people mistaking childrens mental health problems for growing pains and teenage angst.

via The Press Association: Behaviour disorder costing £1.5bn

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