Creating Space for Young People in the UK

Presentation First Author: 
Max Birchwood

In this session Max Birchwood, one of the pioneers of early intervention in psychosis and youth health, will be in conversation with Carly Townsend. I started experiencing metal health problems in Year 8 of Secondary School (approx age - 13). I was referred to a child psychologist who I worked with for a year before I fell into a bad crowd and stopped attending sessions. Although I was still experiencing mental health problems in the form of panic attacks, hearing voices, self harm and behaving strangely, I didnt attempt to get any help till I was 17. At 17 I went to my GP and I was put on anti-depressants which didnt work and I overdosed on medication 3 or 4 times. During this time I was seen by various GPs at my Health Centre. I was passed around services for 2 years before I was seeing one GP regularly who went on to refer me to the Early Intervention Service. They were able to find a range of medication and therapy which worked for me. I have recently left the care of the Early Intervention Service and I am now being seen by the Youthspace Clinical Team. I have been involved in the youth board for over 2 years now. This has involved attending meetings to promote the work of the youth board, designing and developing public health and service redesign project and evaluating the projects we are running. Examples of some of the work I have been involved in include redesigning information booklets, advising on public health campaign posters, making short films on mental health and the recruitment of youth service staff. I have also had the opportunity to be part of teams involved in applying for funding and have had the opportunity to speak directly to senior Department of Health staff on the key issues in youth mental health.

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
November, 2013
Additional Authors: 
Ms Carly Townsend
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