Right Here: Rescripting young peoples experiences of health and support services

Presentation First Author: 
Susan Blishen

INTRODUCTION Right Here is a unique, five-year collaboration between Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation to develop effective new approaches to improving the mental health and well-being of 16 - 25 year olds, a much neglected group. APPROACH Since 2009 Right Here has been working with four voluntary sector-led partnerships in Brighton and Hove, Fermanagh, Newham, and Sheffield, where young people and adults (youth workers and mental health professionals) have worked together to design, deliver, commission and evaluate a range of health promoting, therapeutic and resilience-building activities. The projects are changing how participating and other organisations work with young people, providing mental health awareness and other training to front line workers, and are consistently raising the bar in terms of young peoples participation. They are also influencing practice and policy more widely. For example, in Right Here Brighton and Hove, young volunteers and staff, supported by the Clinical Commissioning Group, have been working with GPs to improve how they respond to young peoples emotional health and wellbeing needs. To date the programme has worked with over 2,000 young people, and outcomes are being extensively evaluated with a full report expected in 2014. In 2011, Right Here, with Comic Relief and Nominet Trust began developing a range of new digital products to support young peoples mental health, as part of the Innovation Labs initiative. OBJECTIVES OF PRESENTATION Although the four partnerships have one more year to run, we are now clear about what young people are saying about the services that work for them, and have emerging evidence about the changes required to improve the mental health and wellbeing of vulnerable young people. Beginning with a short film, the session will set out what young people have been saying throughout the initiative and what has been learnt about improving young peoples mental health and wellbeing. PRACTICE AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS/CONCLUSION ]Finally, drawing on the independent evaluations of Right Here from the Tavistock Institute and the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR), and the views of the young people who have been involved, the session will propose some key design features for future youth mental health and well-being services, including: • Understanding of mental health and skills in youth counselling and engagement must be built into the work of all generic, non-specialist practitioners, such as GPs and youth workers • Removing the barrier between primary mental and physical health services and developing a range of holistic interventions to enable young people to flourish in all aspects of their lives • Youth-centred, community based services must be developed that allow young people a primary role in design and an influence over the when and where of delivery. • Services should be commissioned which do not discriminate on the basis of age, and young people should be offered choice and control of their mental health care.

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
November, 2013
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