West Sussex County Councillor outlines mental health support for young people

Leader of West Sussex County Council Paul Marshall outlines the mental health support available for young people.

We’ve been living in unpredictable times that have been stressful for so many.

The pressures on young people in these turbulent years have been particularly hard to bear.

In response, a year ago we launched a county wide campaign, Your Mind Matters, with one aim, to ensure young people, parents and professionals across West Sussex know where to get help with their emotional wellbeing and mental health, both in general and in times of crisis.

There are many different ways to get support for your mental health in West Sussex. Picture by 1388843 from Pixabay

The campaign brings together our partners including local authorities, NHS providers, mental health services, charities, community groups and police.

It is a collaboration with Foundations For Our Future, which is part way through a two year programme to bring about significant improvement.

Given the intense pressures being faced, it is very good news that following a Sussex-wide review of emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people, a new West Sussex Single Point of Access (SPoA) for emotional wellbeing and mental health support is now available for residents and communities.

Led by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), the new service provides a simplified single route for children, young people, families, carers and professionals to be directed to the right service, eliminating the need to refer to multiple services.

Over the past year, the Council has invested more dedicated resources to increase emotional wellbeing and mental health support for the county’s children and young people, following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This includes, expanding work with partners and charities who have expertise in different areas to enhance the offer for young people.

This includes:

Additional mental health support directly in schools. Trained professionals working with children and staff via our ‘Thought-Full’ Mental Health Support Programme, which launched in September 2019.

By 2023 the programme will be working in over 50% of our schools, supporting over 68,000 pupils. Watch a one minute film to find out more about how ‘Thought-Full’ teams are working in schools.

Free online courses to support parents and carers in developing tools to help children manage their feelings and mental health (this includes working with the charity West Sussex MIND and organisation Rites for Girls). Providing professional wrap-around support for groups of children where there is an identified need. Additional support linking with Sussex charity Allsorts Youth Project to expand its work with young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or exploring their sexual orientation or gender, alongside their families.

Hear what it meant to Finley to receive support from the Allsorts Youth Project in a short film.

The promotion of emotional wellbeing resources, training and support services for children and families through Your Mind Matters.

We hope the summer holidays will be a time to relax. Yet some young people may find the holidays more difficult. Here’s a reminder of where to access support for you or your child’s mental health over the holidays.

Support is available and there are people you can talk with:

Your Mind Matters

www.westsussex.gov.uk/yourmindmatters has details of lots of local and national resources.

Self-care plan

Careers advice

The careers advice team supports 16–24-year-olds who have finished their education with free 1-2-1 career advice.

Find out more at: www.westsussex.gov.uk/careers, 0330 222 7175, [email protected]

Family Hubs

Drop-in opening times and locations for families and young people needing support.

E-Wellbeing is a digital wellbeing service to help young people in Sussex to understand how to be mentally healthy and how to connect to support across the county.

It includes links to crisis support and help to find the right service: www.ewellbeing.co.uk/support

Please continue to look after yourselves and each other, talk about how you are feeling, and reach out if you need extra help.

Remember it is a sign of strength to say you need support.

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