12 April 2018
"Adolescent mental health is a topic that I am particularly passionate about, it seems that there is a different headline each week, with numerous awareness and anti-stigma campaigns, the most recent of which; Heads Together, has drawn high profile support from the royals, it is clear that this issue is getting some much needed attention.
"As a recent graduate from a Master’s degree in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, I am on a mission to keep the discussion of Youth Friendly Mental Health Services going in Gloucestershire.
"Prevalence rates of mental illness and sub diagnostic presentations among young people aged 16 – 25 are increasing. Services are failing to meet needs or sufficiently support transition from Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) to Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS). Add to this, cuts to funding for mental health services and the challenge of meeting the needs of young people’s mental health is increasing.
"A recent piece of research I conducted within the Link, young people stated that they experience a fear of discrimination when accessing mental health services. Young people prefer to use multi use spaces so that they can get support for a range of issues in one place. Young people would also prefer to engage in therapeutic group sessions using arts, music and sports as an engagement tool. It is recommended that extending the age of transition from child and adolescent services to adult services from 18 up to 25 years old would improve continued engagement with services.
"The Mental Health Foundation (2017) suggest ‘mental health informed youth workers’, are a potential solution to the issue, by supporting young people in accessing mental health services. There are also calls for the current work force to adapt to the needs of young people; age appropriate care for young people is now a matter of urgency.
"Therefore, the Youth Information and Counselling Services model (YIACS) practiced at the Link is best placed to complement the work of CYPS practitioners. This could address the issues of increasing prevalence rates of child and adolescent mental health illness, it is therefore encouraged that local commissioners support partnership building in this area.
"So let’s keep up the discussion, it’s about time for change."