Investigation launched into mental health issues facing children and young people in Hartlepool

Health bosses in Hartlepool are to look at new steps to help address mental health issues facing children and young people.

Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 5:45 pm
Picture c/o Pixabay

Bosses from Hartlepool Borough Council and Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have formed a new plan looking at children and young people’s mental health.

The local transformation plan outlines a focus on early intervention, prevention and making specialist services available, and numerous steps have already been taken.

A report to go before the Hartlepool Health and Wellbeing Board next week from CCG and council bosses states working together is vital for the mental health of young people.

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It said: “There is a risk that if services do not work together we will continue to see an increase in children and young people presenting with mental health issues.

“It is important that organisations work together to implement a joint approach to early intervention and understand how the system can work together.”

A series of three workshops were held during June and July featuring staff from numerous agencies and identified issues with the current offer.

These included referrals often only being received at crisis point, high levels of inappropriate referral, a lack of coordination, a lack of awareness from families and the need for an ‘overarching accepted model of working’.

Outcomes from the workshops identified five main areas of work which will be further explored through task and finish groups.

These include workforce, and determining if providers are providing similar services and if they can be combined, and communication, with no resources previously deployed into communication of messages.

They have also identified pooling resources and utilising areas such as community/family hubs.

The final area identified was a multidisciplinary team, which would ‘allow for collective and early discussions around a child’s referral’.

Several other steps have been made this year to support children and young people’s mental health including work being taken forward on the joint commissioning agenda with schools.

The CCG and local authority have jointly presented to the headteacher forums on the subject of how they can work together to achieve better outcomes for students.

The Anna Freud School Link Programme is also being rolled out nationally following a pilot period, and Hartlepool is included in the roll out. The remit of the programme is to improve relationships between schools and specialist mental health services.

The CCG is also working on a project looking at improving outcomes for children and young people, which has identified emotional health and wellbeing and special educational needs and disability as areas for further work.

The topic is to be discussed at the Health and Wellbeing Board meeting at the Civic Centre on Monday, September 23, from 10am.