This page outlines some of the ways children and young people help to influence the mental health support and services the NHS provides locally.
Young people working with the RISE team
Newcastle Gateshead is one of only 25 CCGs chosen to provide an extra mental health support team in schools as part of the national Trailblazer programme.
The team works with schools to support children with mild to moderate mental wellbeing problems, as well as linking with other agencies to promote emotional awareness and resilience.
This builds on support already in place from school counsellors, nurses, educational psychologists and voluntary organisations, to treat pupils with mild to moderate mental health issues and help those with more severe needs to access the right support. It is currently being expanded to cover a wider range of schools locally.
Young people played a leading role in developing the service’s name – Rise – and its logo. Parents and carers with experience of supporting a child with emotional and mental health problems are also playing a key part, by hosting a forum for parents and carers.
Our involvement team is linking with young people, parents, carers, school staff and other agencies to explore how the team works, and how they can best provide support in the future.
This work suggests that the service is already making an impact for children whose concerns would previously have been at too low a level to access mental health services, and that schools value this preventive approach.
It has also shown some areas where we could make improvements, for example around training, communication, and the way different agencies work together.
A number of these changes are already underway, including a review of training and some new information leaflets for parents.
This work is also supported by Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Northumbria University, Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council.
Our work to improve mental health services for young people is supported by the Young Commissioners project. Young commissioners are aged 13 to 19 (or up to 25 if the young person has learning difficulties or disabilities), and work with us to help us shape the future design of mental health services for children, young people and families.
The Young Commissioners also act in a challenge and scrutiny role and encourage wider involvement of young people.
Your views on access to mental health services
A new single point of access to child mental health services has recently been introduced in Newcastle and Gateshead.
This is a central point for referrals for children and young people aged 5-19, making it easier to get help with concerns about mental health, learning disabilities or autism. For young people with increased vulnerabilities, it provides support up to the age of 25.
The single point of access – by phoning 0303 123 1147 or emailing ntawnt.NGSPA@nhs.net – makes it easier for children and young people to get quick access to the most appropriate service for their needs. All referrals are then directed to the most appropriate service for the person’s
Over the past year, our involvement team has been gathering views on the service from young people, to highlight potential areas for improvement and ensure a consistently high level of service.