Localis recently identified six key reasons why the mental health system is failing young people. Number three on the list is that:
"Non-specialist mental health workforce aren’t supporting young people at an early enough stage in dealing with mental health issues because they lack confidence and knowledge. Professionals, fearful of the risk attached to ‘getting it wrong’, instead often widen the pool of professionals around a young person creating greater dependency without actually addressing their concerns.” June 2017 - A Healthy State of Mind: Improving young people’s mental fitness.
NDTi is delighted to announce that it has been awarded funding by Health Education England (HEE) to be able to tackle these specific issues across the South West. We are using a recognised resilience-building model but coproducing the approach with children and young people who use mental health services in each area to make sure the approach fits their needs and the local priorities. Work is already underway in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Torbay. With Bournemouth, Bristol and Devon to follow later in the year.
Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Director of Nursing and Deputy Director of Education and Quality commented saying;
“We know that a workforce with the right skills and values is vital if we are to protect the most vulnerable in society. By funding workforce education and training this initiative will help organisations develop their teams to meet local demand and ensure that vulnerable children and young people receive the mental health support that they need."
Kate Linsky, NDTi's Mental Health Lead explained why this is so relevant;
“NDTi is pleased to have been chosen by Health Education England to deliver our ‘Strengthening the Circle' project here in the South West. Our focus on non-specialist mental health workforce seeks to address one of the key gaps recently identified. What pleases us most is that each area has willingly agreed and supported the involvement of young people themselves to coproduce and tailor the approach to local need and priorities. They will also be involved in evaluating its success. NDTi is committed to delivering its work in coproduction. Without coproduction, how would we know what was needed, when and where and whether it was working?”
Hayley Payne, Commissioning Manager from Gloucestershire CCG, explained why this programme is so important in their region:
"NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Gloucestershire County Council have led the development and implementation of 'Gloucestershire’s Future in Mind Five Year Transformation Plan for Children and Young People's Mental Health'. They have worked with a variety of local stakeholders to develop the plan and much of the work in developing ideas and taking projects forward has been achieved with involvement and input from children and young people. Our plan takes a whole systems approach to prevention, provision of information and advice and early intervention through to crisis support.
The foundation of the plan is around supporting children and young people to look after their mental wellbeing, helping them to be better at coping with life's ups and downs and encouraging them to get help when needed. Developing the workforce is an integral part of this so that staff are able to help children and young people achieve this.
We are pleased to be working with the National Team for Inclusion in co-producing ‘Strengthening the Circle’ training with children, young people and our Gloucester City schools. This is part of our wider implementation of bringing together mental health support with schools. The training will provide staff with resources and approaches to help build resilience in young people as well as the confidence to support children and young people to be active partners in their care and support, moving increasingly to self-management of their own mental wellbeing."
For more information don’t hesitate to email Becky Strike.