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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 May, 2004, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
Bridging the mental health 'gap'
Health professionals are to meet in County Durham to explore ways of bridging the age gap facing young people with mental health problems.

The county council has examined the services available and found many are aimed at children or adults.

This leaves a gap in provision for people aged 16-25 with mental health problems.

Delegates will meet next week to examine the Minding the Gap report and discuss its recommendations.

Durham County Council conducted a detailed investigation into mental health services which resulted in a 40-point action plan calling for a new approach.

'Real progress'

This will be discussed at the meeting at County Hall on Tuesday.

Councillor Edna Hunter, who chaired the committee, said the study had been "a major undertaking" given the complex issues and number of agencies involved.

"There has been a growing awareness that young people with mental health problems don't always receive services relevant to their needs," she said.

"This is most evident in the transitional age group - young people aged 16-25 who fall into the gap of services structured to meet the needs of either children or adults.

"The recommendations in our report seek to bridge that gap, and next week's conference will examine the practicalities of addressing them and making real progress."

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