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Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2005 Jul;18(4):370-3.

What do children and young people want from mental health services?

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University of Leicester, Greenwood Institute of Child Health, Leicester, UK.



The purpose of this paper is to review the literature reporting on children and young people's views on child and adolescent mental health services.


The review demonstrates that there is limited research exploring the views of children and young people regarding mental health services. Despite its limitations, the research available shows that young people, their parents and healthcare providers often have different expectations of services. Young people want accessible services staffed by those they are able to trust and who demonstrate an ability to listen; above all, young people want to be involved in the decisions made about them.


To date, children and young people have not been actively engaged or involved in service development. This is an evolving field and we need to ensure that existing evidence is taken into account as well as investigating further the views of young people. Child and adolescent mental health services need to consider how we serve young people, particularly children, whose perspectives may differ from those of their parents.

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