October 22th, 2018

Local providers and commissioners in Halton have been working in partnership with children and young people to redesign child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), to make it as easy as possible for young people to get the support they need in the right place, at the right time.

As part of these changes, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is working in a more joined-up way with other organisations to better meet the needs of children and young people, including Halton Borough Council, local schools and third sector providers.

The focus will be on prevention, early intervention and making it as easy as possible for young people to get the support they need to thrive and enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing. One of the key changes includes the introduction of an informal drop-in café called HeadzUp Halton, where young people can drop by to speak with a trained mental health professional for assessment, advice and signposting to local services.

Changes to services have already begun across Halton and more developments will be taking place over the next year, including improvements to support for children and young people who experience mental health crisis.

Tarnia Woods, Clinical Lead for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services at North West Boroughs Healthcare, said:

“Following national recommendations that NHS and other local providers should work together to provide mental health services that meet young people’s needs, we have worked closely with young people and our partners to develop a new model which addresses these recommendations and is much more responsive to the needs of the young people who use our services.”

“We are confident that by working together with our local partners across the whole system, we can provide better, joined-up care for young people with mental health needs and their families, to support them to have positive health and wellbeing.”

Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Health and Wellbeing. Cllr Marie Wright, said: “This is an innovative scheme we hope will help young people with mental health issues, in a relaxed, calming environment,”

Sheila McHale, Head of Children, Families and Adult Mental Health at Halton NHS Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The aim of partners working together is to ensure that young people of Halton receive the emotional wellbeing and mental health support they need when they need it.

“The implementation of this new way of working is the culmination of a lot of hard work by all of our stakeholders, including young people. This will build a wider system of support and help the younger persons in Halton to access help more easily.”

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