Children and Young People
To inform on the Children’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Needs Assessment, engagements were held with young people across the county in the Autumn of 2013. Eight focus groups were held with young people in the community, young people in residential and foster care and current users of CAMHS. In addition, an online survey was developed to capture a wide range of young people’s views and opinions. The findings of these two methods of research are summarised in this section of the wider engagement.
Parents and carers
To inform the Children’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Needs Assessment, engagements were held with parents across the county in the Autumn of 2013. Five focus groups were held with parents: the Autism Sussex parents group, a CAMHS group, adoptive parents, foster carers and parents whose children had received counselling help through the Worth Emotional Support Service (WESS).
An online survey was also developed to capture the views and opinions of parents whose children had had some involvement with CAMHS. The findings of these two methods of research are summarised in this section of the wider Needs Assessment.
To inform the Children’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Needs Assessment engagements were held with professionals across the county in the Autumn of 2013. Six focus groups were held with professionals from Chichester CAMHS, Horsham CAMHS, Worthing CAMHS, Looked after and Adopted Children Staff, Primary Mental Health Workers (PMHWs) and Social Workers (Targeted Team). Interviews took place with: an individual PMHW, a school counsellor and paired interviews with representatives of HomeStart-Chichester and the adjacent Children and Family Centre Manager and separately with CAMHS Commissioners.
In addition, an online survey was developed to capture the views of professionals from a broad range of organisations working with children and young people across West Sussex within Social Care, Education, Health, Youth Services and Commissioning. The findings from these two methods of research are summarised in this engagement report.
The emotional wellbeing and mental health of young people is a critical determinant of their future quality of life. Half of those with lifetime mental health problems experience their first symptoms before the age of 14 and early intervention can make a significant different in helping them to fulfil their potential. The national mental health strategy ‘Closing the gap: priorities for essential change in mental health‘ published in January 2014 makes it clear that, across the country, services are not currently meeting the needs of young people, and it identifies priorities for action. The recommendations in this report are made within that framework as well as information gathered locally.
This comprehensive needs assessment provides a huge amount of data and information, and we are very grateful for the time and commitment of all the people who have helped us to prepare it. Children and young people, their families and health professionals have all provided their own perspectives on what’s working well in current services in West Sussex, and what needs to improve. One thing that has clearly emerged is the determination on all sides to make the changes needed, building on the many examples of good practice locally.
- Background Evidence Professionals (PDF, 948Kb)
- Background Evidence Children and Young People (PDF, 737Kb)
- Background Evidence Parents (PDF, 764Kb)
- Children and Young People Emotional and Wellbeing Needs Assessment (PDF, 1.4Mb)