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This blog post was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Mental health tweet chat fuels engines of progress

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Mental health, News

The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce, co-chaired by the Department of Health (DH) and NHS England (NHSE), has led and encouraged conversations with service commissioners, providers and users to better understand the needs of young people with mental health issues. The recent tweet chat, facilitated by online community site WeNurses, was the latest example.

Taskforce co-chairs Jon Rouse, Director General for Social Care (DH) and Dr Martin McShane, Director for people with long-term conditions (NHSE) posed questions and responded to opinions and observations in the course of a highly productive hour, which saw a total of 106 contributors pitch in and tweet their views.

Familiar themes and observations included the need for early intervention and more proactive mental health education in schools…

Sophie Dishman, a first year social work student at Sunderland University, tweeted: “Need to intervene early and prevent if poss. Need to communicate and listen to CYP. Identify those most vulnerable.”

Meanwhile, Graham Hawkes, CEO of Healthwatch Hillingdon observed:  “Young people told us MH isn’t talked about enough in schools  #Hillingdon. Openness key to tackling stigma.”

The discussion ranged across other topics including: how best to improve children and young people’s experiences of mental health services; are nurses equipped to deal with youth mental health issues and what specific skills need to be improved across the piece?

Jon Rouse was particularly keen to hear views on the role of local authorities:

“What do we think [their] distinct role should be in respect of child mental health?”

Responses included the view that clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) should drive improvements in mental health provision and not rely on school academies, whilst another respondent pondered whether youth advice services should be mandatory across the country.

Following the tweet chat Jon Rouse commented: “A highly productive session. It was encouraging and reassuring to know that the taskforce’s findings and actions are being acknowledged, endorsed and informed by those working in or with youth mental health services.”

Further online discussions of this type are bound to follow. The Social Care News blog, among others, will keep you updated on where, when and with whom!

In the meantime, you can read a transcript of the tweet chat here.

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  1. Comment by Dan Midwinter posted on

    Twitter is a useful medium for shouting out updates, keeping people informed on news and building networks. Is it really the best place to hold a debate social care issues? I'm not sure. It's great to build links between different groups and individuals though. I will ceratinly take a look at WeNurses off the back of this.

    • Replies to Dan Midwinter>

      Comment by Mark Osterloh posted on

      Definitely worth a look, Dan. I know that colleagues here have found them a useful sounding board to evaluate - and validate - their work. And as you've acknowledged, there is great value in building supportive like-minded networks. And WeNurses are lovely people to work with! Mark

  2. Comment by liz posted on

    Hi mark and Dan I'm setting up a community support group called Forgottenparentsuk with other parties involved in working together. We would love to work with you and help support those forgotten by systems lost because they don't fit into a box or category we aim to bring communities together in support so any gaps can be bridged. We all deserve a chance, the right support, and support for all affected. Because we are all part of a community and together we can bring awareness, encourage positive working relationships and help support communities within communities. Our young people are our future and ensuring there is coproductive positive support for all those affected by mental health incl mums,dads and siblings and extended families are a priority and needs to be addressed urgently and on a continual growing process. #unityinthecommunity with #ELF (eyes looking forward)

  3. Comment by Alexander Campbell posted on

    Mental health is a field of endeavour that I feel we are only now in thec21st century just beginning to scratch the surface of the conditions underlying problems that in the past were totally misconstrued by archaic psychological practices perpetuated by misguided and obviously completely erroneous psychologically maladjusted practionioners of the field such as SIGMUND FREUD! This man alone steered psychoanalysis so far off the correct course that it has taken 100 years to get back on track!