What's all this then?

We’ve made this webpage to tell other young people a little bit about what’s going on in the city when it comes to getting support around our mental health.
The NHS is broken up into local pod’s called CCG’s (their long name is Clinical Commissioning Groups). The Brighton and Hove CCG wanted to improve young people’s mental health services in the city and so they decided to do a piece of research called a ‘needs assessment’ back in 2015.

The CCG knew that there were things that needed improving, but they thought it was important to ask young people and listen to their ideas about how to make mental health support in Brighton and Hove the best it could be.

A big piece of research was done asking young people, families, and professionals in the city what they thought about the mental health services we have, like CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and the free counselling services available to young people in Brighton & Hove.

Once the CCG had collected peoples thoughts and ideas, and found what was working well (and what wasn’t) they wrote a document called the 'Local Transformation Plan'. This document outlined all the ways they were going to improve mental health services for young people in Brighton and Hove.

We read all of these documents so you don’t have to, and below we have picked out some of the most interesting and important bits for you. So, if you want to know a little more about what the CCG found in their research, what their plans are, what they have done so far, or even how you can get involved in shaping the future of mental health support in Brighton & Hove, read on, or find the bit you’re interested in by clicking the squares above.

The Research

The CCG set out to discover all there was to know about young people’s mental health in the city. They found some pretty interesting stuff: In the UK – half of all mental health issues begin before we turn 14. The number of young people in Brighton is growing, and young people are the most likely to be experiencing mental health issues for the first time. This is when it is really important to get support, and find ways to cope early on – sometimes we call this ‘building resilience’. The CCG realised that if the number of young people in the city is growing and changing, mental health services will have to grow and change too!

Brighton has lots of people aged 20-25. This is important because early adulthood can be a tough time to get mental health support, it could mean moving from young people’s services into adult services – and that can be stressful. The CCG heard about this from young people and started thinking about how to make it easier.

The CCG discovered that although boys were more likely to struggle with their mental health, more girls were using mental health services and getting support. They started looking at how to help boys connect with services.

As well as age, the CCG discovered other things that can affect our mental health, and how likely we are to need support. Being male, LGBT, homeless, disabled, in care, pregnant, or having problems at home such as parents who struggle with addiction are all things that can make us more likely to struggle with our mental health.

We call these ‘Risk Factors’. Not everybody with risk factors will have mental health issues, but it’s important the CCG know about them so that they can make extra sure these people can get the right support early on. Part of the research was asking people from these groups what kind of support would work for them.

After looking at all of the support across the city, asking young people, families, and professionals, and analysing lots of data. The research came up with some key ideas and recommendations:

1.Increase early intervention and prevention

This means making sure that all young people know how to look after their mental health so that we stay happy and healthy, and may not even need more support. If we do need support, it means making sure people see this early on and that we get offered the help we need. The CCG are working with schools, GP’s, and people like us at YMCA Right Here to make this happen!

2. Develop integrated care pathways and working together

This means that instead of having lots of different services depending on how old you are and what you need, there is one service for everyone that works out what support is right for each person. It means young people, teachers, counsellors, parents, and mental health services work together to get the best plan in place for each individual. The CCG have organised things to make sure this happens and even opened a new eating disorder service that works across Sussex.

3. Increase accessibility of services

This means that anyone, even you, can make a referral to mental health services. You can find a form on the website or give them a call. It also means making sure people who are less likely to use mental health services feel welcome and able to ask for help.

The CCG have paid for websites like FindGetGive.com and WhereToGoFor.co.uk to help us find places to go, and E-Wellbeing Service, so that young people can have counselling online if they prefer.

4. Increase support for parents and carers

Making sure mums, dads, families, carers and anyone else at home know how to talk to us about our mental health and know where to go if they aren’t sure how to help us. It also means giving them a bit of support when they are supporting us.

5. Commissioning for outcomes

This means making sure that if the NHS are paying for mental health services that they are working well. They do this by checking in with people who use the services and looking at how they found them, as well as looking at data and seeing if people leave the services feeling better than when they arrived.

If you want to know more about what the CCG found in their research, you can see a summary here.

You said. We did.

After hundreds of conversations with young people and those who support them, lots of data crunching, and one big piece of research called the ‘Joint Strategic Needs Assessment’, the CCG was ready to lay out their plans for the future. By asking and involving young people, their ideas were based on real experiences.

Their plan is called the ‘Local Transformation Plan’ and some of the most important changes they have planned are:

  • Improving the ‘crisis pathway’ so that young people who are really unwell had a smoother journey between all the different services trying to help them, including the dedicated young people’s mental health team at the Royal Alex.
  • Ensuring that Looked After Children or Children in Care received more support around their mental health, and making sure social care includes mental health workers.
  • Making sure that turning 18 wasn’t such a big deal when it comes to mental health support. Now it should be a smooth and supported journey, without always having to leave one service and go to another.
  • Looking at the experience of young people with autism, making sure they don’t have long waiting times, and improving their experience of mental health services.
  • Helping GP surgeries to improve the way they work with young people struggling with their mental health and emotional wellbeing. In some places this includes mental health workers within the surgery, as well as support in new places like schools and youth clubs.
  • Making sure young people with psychosis get seen within 2 weeks, so they receive support as early as possible.
  • Training lots of professionals to ensure that there are enough workers to support all the young people in the city who need it, and making sure they have all the skills they need to do the best job possible.
  • The Local Transformation plan also explains how the CCG plan to pay for all of these services and changes.
As we speak, the CCG have already done, and are still doing some of this stuff! Because young people are the experts in what young people need, the CCG listened to our ideas. Here are just a few examples of what has happened as a result:
  • ‘#IAmWhole: the CCG launched the #IAmWhole campaign on world mental health day in October 2016, calling for young people to recognise their mental health issues, talk about it openly and seek help. It was a huge success – look out for it again this year!
  • Find Get Give: The CCG asked us (YMCA Right Here) to work with young people to design a website where young people could go to find support near them, so we http://www.findgetgive.com/ made www.findgetgive.com. It provides information, advice, guidance, and an opportunity for feedback on mental health services as well as blogs, vlogs, YouTube clips and Apps.
  • Primary Mental Health workers in schools: 3 secondary schools and 8 primary schools have had a special worker in their school whose job it is to make sure the whole school is paying attention to mental health. They have introduced things like 1:1 interventions, form or year group support, and assemblies, as well as supporting staff and parents/carers.
  • Support for parents/carers: a new online forum has started to provide support for parents/ carers of children and young people in Brighton who need mental health help, the link is here: http://www.findgetgive.com/parents-carers/
  • LGBT training: the CCG realised that there was a gap in knowledge and understanding of LGBT mental health needs, so a local LGBT organisation has been delivering awareness training.
  • More Teen to Adult Personal Advisors: TAPA is another way for young people to receive mental health support without having to go to the usual services. TAPA workers reach out to young people who may feel unsure about receiving support, and this has worked really well so far.
  • To see the whole Local Transformation Plan, with up to date information about what’s been done, and what’s being planned click here.

What Is Out There?

So, after all that, where can a young person looking for support go?

FindGetGive: A directory of mental health services, to help you find one that’s right for you.

WhereToGoFor: Another directory, but this one has all kind of things, from football clubs to sexual health clinics.

Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service: the core mental health service for anyone over 4 years of age in Brighton & Hove.

Youth Advice Centre: Right in the centre of Brighton, you can drop in to get support and advice with all kinds of things, from mental health to money.

What Do You Think?

It isn’t too late to let the Brighton and Hove CCG know what YOU think about mental health services, or any other area of health and social care. There are loads of ways you can get your voice heard, and as you can see from this webpage – the CCG listen to our ideas and make change happen.

Below a just a few ways of feeding back:

Pulse: A of all health and social care services in the city. Simply select the service you have used and give your thoughts – good or bad.

FindGetGive: A directory of mental health services where you can leave feedback – a bit like tripadvisor!

PPG’s: These are meetings at your local GP surgery called Patient participation Groups – just ask at reception.

Healthwatch: This is an independent watchdog that makes sure NHS services are doing what they should. They collect feedback and follow it up with services.

IHCAS: Independent Health Complaints and Advocacy Service will help you to make a complaint or advocate for you if you aren’t happy with an experience you’ve had in any health or social care services.

PALS: This is the part of the NHS that you can send complaints to, they will take action and let you know what has been done.