Teenagers facing danger in British mental asylums

March 25th, 2012 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 25 (IANS) Various teenagers in Britain are being locked up alongside potentially dangerous adults in mental hospitals following a crisis in health services for the young, the Daily Express reported Sunday.

According to the report, the Under-18s with mental health problems spent equivalent of 5,166 nights in adult psychiatric wards last year, despite laws introduced five years ago aimed at stamping out the practice.

Sally Hodges, associate clinical director of the north London based Tavistock Centre, one of the leading child mental health units in the country, said: “The provision of mental health services for young people is not enough and recent cutbacks have made the situation worse.”

“It is wholly inappropriate for children to be in adult wards where they are at risk from abuse from patients,” she added.

Following a number of scandals in which youngsters were physically and verbally abused and traumatised by their experiences in adult wards, a new clause to the Mental Health Act 2007 barred local authorities from placing children in adult psychiatric wards in all but exceptional circumstances.

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