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Children and Young People: Mental Health

The mental health of children and young people in England

The emotional health and wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health and wellbeing. Over the past few years there has been a growing recognition of the need to make dramatic improvements to mental health services for children and young people (CYP).

A report provided by Public Health England (December 2016) describes the importance of mental health in CYP and highlights the following aspects: 

Read the 'Mental Health of children in England' report. 

Childrens Mental Health & Wellbeing: Future in Mind and Wirral's response

The issues
Mental health problems cause distress to individuals and all those who care for them. One in ten children needs support or treatment for mental health problems. These range from short spells of depression or anxiety through to severe and persistent conditions that can isolate, disrupt and frighten those who experience them. 

Mental health problems in young people can result in lower educational attainment (for example, children with conduct disorder are twice as likely as other children to leave school with no qualifications) and are strongly associated with behaviours that pose a risk to their health, such as smoking, drug and alcohol abuse and risky sexual behaviour.

The economic case for investment is strong. 

  • 75% of mental health problems in adult life (excluding dementia) start by the age of 18.
  • Failure to support children and young people with mental health needs costs lives and money.
  • Early intervention avoids young people falling into crisis and avoids expensive and longer term interventions in adulthood.

The national response 
The Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Taskforce was established in September 2014 to consider ways to make it easier for children, young people, parents and carers to access help and support when needed and to improve how children and young people’s mental health services are organised, commissioned and provided. The Department of Health and NHS England response, Promoting, protecting and improving our children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, highlighted the key themes:

  • Promoting resilience, prevention and early intervention
  • Improving access to effective support – a system without tiers
  • Care for the most vulnerable
  • Accountability and transparency
  • Developing the workforce

The Taskforce firmly believes that the best mental health care and support must involve children, young people and those who care for them in making choices about what they regard as key priorities, so that evidence-based treatments are provided that meet their goals and address their priorities.

Making it happen: Local Transformation Plans

Delivering the national ambition will require local leadership and ownership. We therefore propose the development and agreement of Transformation Plans for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing which will clearly articulate the local offer. These Plans should cover the whole spectrum of services for children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing from health promotion and prevention work, to support and interventions for children and young people who have existing or emerging mental health problems, as well as transitions between services.

Wirral Future in Mind plans

The Future in Mind plan for Wirral was originally submitted to NHS England in October 2015, and published in January 2016. 

This 2017 refreshed plan plan sets out how commissioning organisations and its partners will transform local services to improve outcomes for children, young people and their families, meeting the aspirations set out by the Government in their national strategy for children and young people’s mental health: Future in Mind, the Healthy Wirral Plan and the Vision 2020.

It is a high level plan that sets out how we will work with our stakeholders to bring about change until 2020/21.

Since the publication of the first plan there has been significant investment and progress made on the journey to transform services for children and young people’s mental health, to achieve the national Future in Mind ambitions.

Latest Plan
Forward Thinking: Children and Young People Mental Health and Wellbeing Transformation Plan 2017

This Transformation Plan for Wirral provides that holistic vision for the provision of support and care for children and young people. 

Resource and Information Pack: mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young adults
Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), on behalf of the Future in Mind Steering Group, have put together a resource and information pack listing the services available to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young adults Read more

THRIVE model
Using the THRIVE model as a starting point, Wirral sees very close links between the provision of mental health services and local authority services, such as the “coping” element of THRIVE being supported by both the CAMHS Primary Mental Health Workers and the “Self Help” and universal support provided by the local authority.

Information, Insight and Assessment of Need 

We are currently undertaking work across partners and within organisations to best understand our local evidence base that in turn supports our current service provision and future commissioning of services for children and young people.

We are working with colleagues to further develop our local story of need and this will be published in the coming months

In the meantime the following information sources have been use to inform the Future in Mind Plan and Steering Group

Key information sources for you to consider:
Time to Deliver,  Education Policy Institute’s Independent Commission on Children and Young People’s Mental Health
The report represents the culmination of the Commission’s work over the last year, reflecting on progress made in transforming services following the government’s investment of £1.4bn. Based on its comprehensive research proposes a series of recommendations which it urges the government to adopt through the Challenge. Access the 'Children and Young People's Mental Health' report. 

CAMHS Resources and Information young people, families and professionals (January 2017)
CAMHS have recently published a resource pack for young people, families and professionals in Wirral who are concerned about emotional wellbeing. This can be found on the CWP website. 

Useful sources
Health and social care outcomes frameworks (Collection)
Public Health England Data and Knowledge Gateway
NHS Digital
Child and Maternal Health