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TOPIC: Healthwatch Enfield releases young people's mental health report

Healthwatch Enfield releases young people's mental health report 05 Dec 2015 18:50 #1876

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Local health and social care watchdog, Healthwatch Enfield, has today...

Local health and social care watchdog, Healthwatch Enfield, has today released a report on young people’s experiences of mental health support in the borough. The report’s findings paint a mixed picture of the availability of help for local young people with mental health needs.

Young people told Healthwatch that often the key adults in their lives, such as parents, carers, teachers or youth workers, have little understanding of mental health issues. They reported significant negative misuse of mental health terms and said that this is not challenged by staff in educational settings. Young people said they were reluctant to speak about mental health problems at home for fear of causing upset or worry.  Healthwatch is calling for further guidance and training to be provided to enable adults to challenge stigma and to be able to identify mental health needs amongst young people earlier, so mental health problems can be dealt with more effectively.

The report found that there is a clear need for better targeting of information for teenagers on where to access mental health support, as parents/carers felt young people often do not know this. Additional resources and funding should also be made be available to enable staff who work with young people to provide guidance and signposting to services as well as employing counsellors in youth venues. Young people said they wanted to be involved in the co-designing of information and guidance.

In general young people who had used mental health services reported the quality of services to be good. However these services have long waiting times for, and between, appointments, which can create additional stress for young people. Healthwatch Enfield is calling for an increase in services, potentially through funding from the transformation Plan to increase the number of trained clinicians.

Healthwatch Enfield Chief Executive, Lorna Reith, said "Our findings paint a mixed picture of mental health support for young people in Enfield. Services are often highly regarded, but young people lack information about them and waiting times can be too long. We are calling for more investment in young people’s mental health services and we want to see more guidance and training for key adults working with young people so they can identify mental health conditions early and help young people get help. It is also really important that we all challenge the stigma and negative attitudes around mental health."

Download the full report

Source:  Healthwatch Enfield website

http://www.healthwatchenfield.co.uk/sites/default/files/what_young_people_think_about_mental_health_support_in_enfield.pdf

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Healthwatch Enfield releases young people's mental health report 11 Dec 2015 00:43 #1877

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Healthwatch Enfield have now issued a further summary of this report in bullet point format which is rather more informative.

The report’s findings paint a mixed picture of the availability of help for local young people with mental health needs. In general young people who had used mental health services such as CAMHS found the quality of services to be good, but we are very concerned that:

• young people are at risk of isolation due to their lack of awareness of and trust in existing services

• the lack of awareness of conditions, treatment and support causes difficulties for young people and their parents/carers and there is the potential for conditions to escalate due to lack of early intervention

• the long waiting list for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and the lack of support between appointments is leaving young people vulnerable and distressed

• there is significant stigma around mental illness and terms are used negatively with little challenge in schools and other settings

• grants or commissioned services for community based, additional support need sufficient funding to succeed.

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