Emotional wellbeing services for young people boosted with £6m funding

Funding of �6m for young people's services has been welcomed

Funding of �6m for young people's services has been welcomed - Credit: Archant

Services aimed at improving the emotional health and wellbeing of young people in Suffolk will be boosted to the tune of £6million over the next five years, it has been announced.

The extra funding from NHS England will enable the introduction of major improvements to services which health officials say will lead to “fundamental changes to the quality and effectiveness of services for children, young people and their families”.

These will include the development of a single point of access and assessment for children’s emotional health, wellbeing and behaviour referrals so help can be provided more quickly, a greater use of technology and digital-based therapies and more support for whole families, rather than just one child.

Health officials in the county have said the successful funding bid “highlights the strong multi-agency commitment and robust transformation plans” of the local authority, clinical commissioning groups and other health and wellbeing partners.

Alan Murray, chairman of Suffolk’s Health and Wellbeing Board said: “This additional funding will have a positive impact on the lives of our children and young people. Locally and nationally demand is increasing for mental health services and it is our fundamental belief that effective help should be provided as early as possible.

“The key areas of focus will be to simplify how services can be accessed, with a family approach, and provide the right support at the right time and in the right place.

By enabling speedy access to services it means we can address mental health and behaviour issues earlier, reducing the need for intervention later on so that people can get on with their lives. We will also see the introduction of a specialist community based county-wide eating disorder service.

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“We know that mental health is a big issue for our young people. Growing up has always been difficult. However, today there are additional pressures such as cyber bullying, which can have an adverse effect on mental wellbeing.”

The funding has come following a pledge earlier this year by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, to commit more money to young people’s emotional wellbeing services.

Dr John Hague, mental health clinical lead for the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “This is excellent news and these transformation plans are a concrete example of how the whole system is working together for the benefit of those people who need young people’s emotional wellbeing services.”

Alison Armstrong, director of operations (Suffolk) at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We welcome this excellent news regarding additional funding for young people’s services in Suffolk.

“The success of the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services’ (CAMHS) bid is testament to strong partnership working and will allow Suffolk to introduce improvements that are designed to focus on the whole family, as well as ensuring young people receive rapid access to more effective support and treatment, at an earlier stage in their lives.

“This will include increased support to colleagues in primary care, education, children and families social care, as well as direct provision of services, thus allowing capacity and resilience building across our local communities.

“The single point of access model will not only allow us to ensure we use our resources to best effect but more importantly demonstrate to young people and their families that we have really listened too and learnt from their feedback and experiences.

“I am also delighted that there has been some specific investment focusing CAMHS eating disorders, allow us to develop increased support across east and west Suffolk.”

The successful submission was from the Ipswich and East and West Suffolk CCGs in partnership with the county council, Suffolk Constabulary, Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, school representatives, young people and the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board.