A recent report has been released by Emily Frith on the Education Policy Institutes Mental Health Commission. The report explores how different areas have developed their local transformation plans for child and youth mental health services.
The report shows the wide variation in the quality of delivery of children and young persons services across the country. Each of the transformation plans was given a score and unfortunately the mean score for the East Midlands was on of the lowest at 29.3.
The challenges are significant and are probably reflected in our own experiences of trying to get help for young people experiencing mental health difficulties. For example, early interventions not possible with the current system which means young people are often at crisis point before they receive help from their local service.
Further key challenges to transformation that were identified were:
- Significant challenges in recruiting the right workforce, particularly consultant psychiatrists and mental health nurses. There are also challenges in ensuring existing staff have up to date training in evidence-based practice.
- Robust assurance is needed to ensure the additional announced funding is invested in frontline services and not replaced with cuts in early intervention support.
- Local health and care leaders do not always have the right skills and expertise to commission services effectively.
- The system is still operating in a fog, without accurate data on the level of need and the quality and availability of services in each area.
- Services are fragmented, with gaps and inconsistencies between specialist and community care, health, social care and education, and physical and mental health.
- The current system prevents early-intervention, meaning that young people often only access support when they have reached a crisis.
Read the full report here – CYP Report progress-and-challenges
De Montfort University, in partnership with REACH, are offering a Youth Mental Health First Aid course for local teachers and school staff – click here to find out dates.