The government has published a green paper called Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision and is seeking your views on its proposals. The consultation is running until noon on 2nd March 2018. This is your opportunity to have a say in how young people’s mental health and wellbeing is prioritised.
You can read the green paper at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paper. There is a quick read version, as well as the full paper, so you can choose how much information you want to cover.
The three main proposals are:
- Every school and college will have a Designated Senior Lead for Mental Health. This person will be trained to advise other staff members on mental health, oversee the support the school or college gives to students with mental health issues and refer young people to specialist mental health services when required.
- Mental Health Support Teams will be created to work with schools and colleges, creating a link between them and NHS mental health services. They will offer individual and group support to young people with “mild to moderate mental health issues” and work alongside other mental health support services, including school nurses and counsellors, educational psychologists, social workers and voluntary and community organisations.
- A new 4 week waiting time target for NHS children and young people’s mental health services. This will be piloted in selected areas, as will the other proposals, and young people who need very urgent help will receive it faster.
The green paper emphasises early intervention, which is something we strongly believe in at The Project (as an early intervention service ourselves). Getting support for young people with mental health issues as soon as possible not only prevents issues from escalating, but helps them feel less isolated. The government’s proposals are also inclusive, taking into account young people with mental health issues who might not meet the criteria for specialist services. We regard this as another step in the right direction.
You can share your views and help shape the way these proposals are implemented by going to https://engage.dh.gov.uk/youngmentalhealth and clicking on the link below the video.
The form is designed to be completed by any individual or organisation with an interest in children and young people’s mental health. This means some sections will be more relevant to you than others and it may look a bit daunting. Don’t worry — you can leave answers blank and only answer the questions you feel are most relevant and important to you.
There are a variety of questions, ranging from asking whether the proposals have the right balance between schools/colleges and NHS services to how success should be measured. Some questions also give you the opportunity to express your own thoughts and ideas. If any of our young people want to fill in the form and don’t understand something, we encourage you to ask a member of staff or volunteer at your group session or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We have been discussing the green paper and its proposals with the young people in our peer support groups and will feature their feedback in a future blog post. We welcome the opportunity for young people to participate in how the government addresses youth mental health and encourage all of our young people — and their parents, families and friends — to submit their views.
Remember, you have until noon on 2nd March 2018: https://engage.dh.gov.uk/youngmentalhealth