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 http://t.co/LHI9saUgxb #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.