Health spotlight on young minds

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Helping children and young people to look after their mental health is in the spotlight as North Yorkshire marks World Mental Health Day (October 10).

It is a priority that has already been identified by North Yorkshire County Council and its partners as part of wider work to improve the mental health of everyone.

“In North Yorkshire, we are working hard with our partners to deliver services to support young people’s mental health,” said County Councillor Janet Sanderson, Executive Member for Children’s Services.

“Initiatives include reducing waiting times to access youth mental health support services; providing a service called Compass Buzz, that trains health and education professionals to provide emotional and mental wellbeing support in schools; and a new service that supports children and young people experiencing a mental health and wellbeing crisis.”

The County Council also supports the work of the North Yorkshire Youth Voice Executive, which ensures that children and young people can have a voice in decision making, and gain the confidence to speak out about a wide range of wellbeing issues and concerns.

The Executive has produced a chart to help children and young people identify and find mental health support services when they need them.

The chart was produced as part of their wider work to promote mental wellbeing in North Yorkshire. For more information about the Youth Voice Executive or to get copies of the flowchart email VIP@northyorks.gov.uk

“Young Minds is using World Mental Health Day to encourage children and young people to talk about the mental health issues and anxieties they are facing, and also encourage adults to listen to them to help them find out where to go for support,” said Coun Sanderson.

“Shockingly, two recent surveys undertaken by the national charity Young Minds show that only nine per cent of children and young people, and six per cent of their parents, said they had found it easy to get the mental health support they needed, and reported barriers at every stage of their search for help. But in North Yorkshire we are doing everything we can, in challenging times, to provide that support.”

A North Yorkshire County Council spokesman said the authority is developing support programmes to reduce the risk of self-harm and suicide.

The authority and the CCG funded mental health and wellbeing community-based services are provided in the area by Harrogate and Ripon CVS with Supporting Older People and Boroughbridge Community Care and Age UK Selby.