Are we listening? A review of children and young people’s mental health services
'Are we listening? A review of children and young people’s mental health services' is a report that describes the findings of the Care Quality Commission independent review of the system of services that support children and young people’s mental health. The report draws on evidence gathered from fieldwork in 10 health and wellbeing board areas in England, including Bristol.
The review included interviews with staff working across different parts of the system, and to children, young people, parents, families and carers who use their services.
In total, they spoke with more than 1,300 people through focus groups and one-to-one interviews. They looked at three main aspects of the mental health system for children and young people:
1. People’s experience of and involvement in care
2. How partners plan and deliver services that offer high quality care that can be accessed in a timely fashion
3. How partners in the local area identify mental health needs and what they do to start the process of getting the right support for children and young people
The findings showed that many children and young people experiencing mental health problems don’t get the kind of care they deserve. The system is complicated, with no easy or clear way to get help or support. There were examples of services with caring and dedicated individuals who put children and young people at the centre of what they do. But these people are often working long hours, with limited money and an increasing demand for their services to overcome barriers to providing high-quality care. This cannot be maintained in the long run.
Their recommendations and next steps for making sure that the problems with mental health services are dealt with, include::
1. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care should make sure there is joint action across government to make children and young people’s mental health a national priority, working with ministers in health, social care, education, housing and local government
2. Local organisations must work together to deliver a clear ‘local offer’ of the care and support available to children and young people
3. Government, employers and schools should make sure that everyone that works, volunteers or cares for children and young people are trained to encourage good mental health and offer basic mental health support
4. Ofsted should look at what schools are doing to support children and young people’s mental health when they inspect