Mental health services for children are working hard to listen to and involve young people

12/12/2018 by Amy Gaskin-Williams

Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are making a concerted effort to listen to and involve young people in the development of the service.

  • The service are working hard to improve transitions for young people approaching 18 years of age by holding “transition panels” with Adult Mental Health Services and employing “Peer Support Workers” to join young people in their first appointment with Adult Mental Health Services. This is partly as a result of feedback from children and adults who talk of the difficulty at this stage of their lives, where they leave children's services and move into unfamilar services designed for adults. 
  • The service have applied for accreditation with “Quality Network for Community CAMHS (QNCC)”, which is a network aimed at improving quality of care for children and young people’s mental health services, and were visited by a team of reviewers from QNCC and other services in November 2018.
  • Community CAMHS are offering a bespoke training event for young people who would like to volunteer within CAMHS on 13th December 2018. We will have our first CAMHS volunteers starting in the service in January 2019.

CAMHS also continue to run their sibling project, to understand how it feels to be the brother or sister of a child who is struggling, and accessing our services for support. Some recent quotes about the sibling group:

  • Josh, 18yrs: “It’s been a really interesting experience being able to talk to young people openly about their struggles with mental health. At the CAMHS workshops I have attended I have learnt a lot and have a much better understanding now of what it must be like to experience mental health issues and how it affects the family and friends supporting individuals. The involvement and volunteering lead me to want to help develop Sibling Support and I am now involved in a joint project with Confetti Arts and Technology College/ Trent University and Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust. It’s great to be able to contribute something to such a worthwhile cause”
  • Danny, 19yrs: “I started volunteering a couple of years ago for different CAMHS projects. It’s only through working together that we can break down stigma and challenge culture. Young people’s views are such an important part of planning future services to make sure they are the best they can possibly be. Young people want to be listened to. There is a lot of work to be done, but it’s such a valuable thing to be able to give some time to, working towards a better service fit for the future”
  • Vernessa, parent: “Involvement through volunteering, project work and co-production is of benefit to everyone involved. I would encourage anyone with an interest in giving up a little time to help support Camhs to get in touch with the Involvement Team and find out what projects are currently running. I feel we all have a responsibility to contribute whatever we can, however small, to improve and work towards excellence for the future services our children will inherit”