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 and incorporate these ideas into delivery of our work programme and feed them back to our Lead Commissioner Forum.
Here are some examples of their amazing work:
- Positivitree - Stairways has created a 'tree' which outlines a core set of values and behaviours for all professionals who interact with them.
- Stairways has created a charter for children and young people's mental health services. This charter outlines their wishes and expectations from services when they need care, with the aim of improving overall experience. We hope that every service in Yorkshire & the Humber will use the charter and listen to what is important to children and young people
- Stairways were also heavily involved in the development of 'In It Together' - an SEMH competency framework for education settings.
- Stairways were 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.
- Stairways helped us understand what mental health means to them (responses available here) and what helps improve their mental health (responses available here).
- They have also created a video link aimed at young people receiving their exam results by sharing some positive messages.
- We hosted a Digital Innovations Event to explore what support was accessible online. They told us about the challenges to accessing digital resources (tree below) and their ideas on how to keep them informed of what is available (the tag below). If you want to see what digital support is available in your area just scroll down.
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, and members can get involved as much or as little as they wish. 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 to learn what DIGITAL support is available locally:
Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven
East Riding of Yorkshire
Hambleton, Richmond and Whitby
North East Lincolnshire
Scarborough and Ryedale
Other resources available to help you and your friends include;
- TalkLife is a free online peer support network which young people can access.
- There is lots of information and advice for children and young people on mental health available via the NHS Choices Youth Mental Health Hub and the NHS Apps Library
- The Big White Wall is an anonymous online community designed to help people who are struggling to cope.
- Young Minds, Student Minds and Epic Friends have lots of great advice and resources that you can access, along with the Recovery College course My CHIME.
- A Mental Health First Aid Kit is also available to download which has been created by CHILYPEP along with lots of other great stuff
- The Royal College of Psychiatrists has lots of factsheets on their page here about specific issues.
- 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.
- Are you thinking about Higher Education or are you already a student? See the video on "How to be prepared for University with a mental health condition" by Young Minds
- Feeling stressed? Download, print (A3 double sided) and personalise/decorate this booklet to help you identify what works for you when feeling stressed. Stairways have some ideas on what to include in the booklet, including what stress feels like, what causes stress, how you can cope with stress and some positive messages for when you are feeling stressed.
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