The government must develop a national mental health services framework to help the thousands of 16 to 25-year-olds being failed by provision each year, according to the Mental Health Foundation.
In Turned Upside Down, a report out this week, the foundation says that in some areas of the country young people are falling into the gaps between children's mental health services - which can stop at 16 - and adult services, which start at 18. It estimates that 500-600 young people each year are inappropriately placed on adult wards.
The report is based on interviews with 45 young people who have experienced a mental health crisis, as well as the views of mental health professionals. The young people identified intimidating psychiatrists, rigid appointment systems and the lack of someone to talk to on their own level as particular problems. The report calls for the development of community services involving young people.
Although there are no figures for the number of young people affected by mental health crises, up to 20,000 go to hospital each year as a result of deliberate selfharm.
The foundation's children and young people's programme manager Helen Kay said the government 'realises there is a problem with young people falling through the net', and that a national service framework was 'absolutely key' to tackling failings in care.