Across our work programme we involve children and young people and their families to help us improve mental health and emotional wellbeing services across Yorkshire and the Humber. We do this through our CYP advisory group, which following a competition for members has been called Stairways which is now sponsored by Kath Evans, Experience of Care Lead for Maternity, Infants, Children and Young People at NHS England (@KathEvans2). We hope members find activities fun and worthwhile, with the opportunity to see how they have been listened to and made a real difference.
How is Stairways is Helping Us
Members of Stairways share with us their ideas for how mental health services can be improved, and examples of innovative ways of working that they have either created or are aware of. We listen to these ideas as we deliver our work programme and feed them back to our Steering Group and Lead Commissioner Forum.
Stairways has created a charter for children andyoung people's mental health. This charter outlines their wishes and expectations from services when they need care, with the aim of improving overall experience.
Stairways were heavily involved in the development of 'In It Together' - an SEMH competency framework for education settings.
Additionally Stairways have been involved in designing content for transition questionnaires to help improve the process and ideas for our Y&H Future in Mind Data Dashboard by telling us what they hope will be different by 2020 for children and young people's mental health and emotional wellbeing, so we know we have made a difference to what is important.
They have also created a video link aimed at young people receiving their exam resulsts by sharing their messages.
We recently hosted a Digital Innovations Event to explore what support was accessible online. The event was packed to the rafters with young people with loads of positive feedback so we have shared them below.
How You Can Get Involved
If you would like to get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Welcome Pack to Stairways is available here which explains a little more about it. Membership is open to anyone up to the age of 25yrs who is interested in improving mental health and emotional wellbeing care for children and young people in Yorkshire & the Humber. The group will work with us on various topics, such as eating disorders and helping schools be better able to care for its pupils by sharing experiences, ideas and helping us ensure we meet the actually needs of children and young people. We have a Facebook Discussion Group to enable conversations between Stairways members and the Clinical Network but if members don't have access to Facebook its not a problem - we will support members individually to be active participants.
Need Information and advice on Mental Health?
Click your area for local support
There are also lots of information and advice for children and young people on mental health and this is available via the NHS Choices Youth Mental Health Hub and the NHS Apps Library along with the Big White Wall, which is an anonymous online community designed to help people who are struggling to cope. Additionally Young Minds, Student Minds and Epic Friends have lots of great advice and resources that you can access.
Youth Mental Health First Aid Kit is also available to download which has been created by CHILYPEP.
If you are a young person looking for further information on a particular mental health issue then the Royal College of Psychiatrists has lots of factsheets on their page here. If you still can't find anything that is suitable then why not try looking through the National Youth Wellbeing Directory which can be found on the website for children and young people called On My Mind. This website aims to empower young people to make informed choices about the support they want, the treatments they receive and the outcomes they desire. On My Mind was co-produced with young people.
Are you thinking about Higher Education or are you already a student? Young Minds have put together a video on "How to be prepared for University with a mental healh condition" by Young Minds
For more general information please see our documents and links page.
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