A MOTHER has revealed how her eight-year-old girl is suffering from anxiety and depression - while making a heartfelt plea for children’s mental health services in York to be properly funded.

She said she has heard one phrase more than any other: “You’re on a waiting list.”

Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said child mental health care is a key priority.

The mother, who The Press has chosen not to name to protect her child’s identity, shared her story at a council meeting.

She said: “My daughter was referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) York due to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and self-harm. She wanted to die. She was eight.

“I’ve heard one phrase more than any other: 'You’re on a waiting list'.

“'You’re on a waiting list for a psychiatrist'. 'You’re on a waiting list for a follow-up appointment'.

“Unfortunately mental illness doesn’t wait patiently to get to the top of the waiting list. It grows and it deepens and by the time you get to the top of one waiting list, things have changed. They’ve deteriorated.”

She explained that her daughter became physically ill and was unable to leave the house. She added that healthcare staff are “amazing” but said: “My child is being failed. Today we spent the whole afternoon at Lime Trees [mental health service]. We had two appointments with a set of very experienced, very helpful, very caring healthcare providers.

“They have put us on another waiting list.”

The mother asked councillors to call on Vale of York CCG for more funding for child and adolescent mental health services in the city.

City of York Council leaders have pledged to also write to the Secretary of State for Education expressing their concerns.

Cllr Jonny Crawshaw, who asked the council to request more resources from the CCG and for the leader to write to the Secretary of State for Education to express “deep concern”, said York’s young people are self-harming more than youngsters elsewhere.

He said: “They’re also experiencing high levels of anxiety, eating disorders and rising levels of substance misuse.

“We as a council are going to be making a really important statement about how we do mental health and how we hope to tackle what is a major issue. We’ll be saying to the young people of our city that we know what’s happening to you and we’re going to do something about it.”

He added that the school wellbeing service should be given greater priority in the council’s budget and that schools cannot be expected to manage the mental health crisis without extra resources.

Councillors unanimously voted in favour of the plans.

A spokeswoman for Vale of York CCG said: “Mental health services for children and young people is a key CCG priority.

“Funding is important, however to address long waiting lists, prevention and intervention at every point helps to ensure needs are met at the right time and by the most appropriate service.

“This is why the CCG continues to work hard and closely with its service providers across the area to deliver services and support as early as possible.

“To reduce waiting list times and ensure that young people are seen more quickly, pathways are being redesigned so more staff can be trained to conduct assessments.”