How we’re protecting young people’s mental health

Children and young people’s mental health is core to our services. Support is vitally needed, as 1 in 6 young people in the UK aged 6-19 have a probable mental health disorder. Last year, 24% more patients were in touch with Children and Young Peoples’ Mental Health Services (CYPMHS) compared with the year before.

To help young people in our boroughs, as well as to relieve pressure on the NHS, we are opening a new service specifically for young people nearing or experiencing a mental health crisis.

We already operate in schools, providing support and advice for students in both group and one-to-one sessions. We also offer support and advice to parents and teachers, to better understand how young people feel, the pressures they are facing, and how to provide support for them.

But our new crisis prevention service goes further, giving young people a place to go when they need immediate support. This safe space, called Circle, was designed with young people’s mental health in mind.

How Circle helps young people

Gives them a place to go when nearing crisis

It has been designed to be a safe space in which children and young people can receive non-clinical and clinical support when they need it most in a relaxed, welcoming, and calm environment.

The space has been co-produced with young people who are part of our Young Voice programme, helping to shape our services in ways that reflect them and their needs.

Crucially, the space is separate from schools, as some young people don’t access mental health support at school due to stigma.  The space is dedicated to the service, meaning no one can overhear them. This allows young people to access help on their own terms, in their own way. The Circle is designed first and foremost to be a place for them, a place they feel comfortable in, and want to visit.

Delivers specialised care

Circle also delivers specialised care and support that young people in crisis may not be able to access at A&E. In 2021, 50% of young people who attended A&E in London experiencing a mental health crisis were deemed not to require further hospital care and were discharged home.

Instead of visiting A&E, where wait times can be long, the hospital environment overwhelming and where they may not get specialised support, children and young people can go to Circle. Our specialists are trained mental health professionals, who regularly help young people tackle stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

The service will continually improve

Circle is being launched as an 18-month pilot study, where all results and findings will be published for other local Minds and mental health services to learn from.

We will continuously evaluate and improve the service during the pilot, with the hope of rolling out more crisis support spaces for young people across our boroughs.

We have an opportunity to improve mental health care across our boroughs for children and young people, and we want to do the best we can, to proactively help protect children and young people’s mental health.

Read more about supporting young people’s mental health, or learn about all our mental health services for children and young people.

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Posted on: 3rd November 2022

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