Young people with long term conditions want better information and support for their mental health
To mark Children's Mental Health Week 2016, Healthwatch Bradford and District have published a report on the experiences of local young people.
Healthwatch worked with Barnardo's to look at the experiences of young people with long term physical health conditions. The small scale project aimed to understand how children and young people had been supported in terms of their mental health and wellbeing, alongside treatment for their other ongoing health problems.
- Most young people Healthwatch spoke to said that they had to actively seek out information about support services for mental health. These services were not offered alongside the care of the physical condition.
- Young people feel services should not support their physical health conditions without taking into account their emotional and mental health needs and similarly not deal with their emotional and mental health needs without taking into account their physical long term health condition.
- CAMHS was a well-recognised service but there were issues of waiting times.
- School nurse and community organisations were helpful.
During our discussion with young people we heard how long-term conditions can have a significant impact on emotional wellbeing. Over half of the young people who completed the online survey told us their health condition had affected their life quite a lot or had a massive impact on their life.
Healthwatch will share this report with local commissioners and service providers, making recommendations for action. THe report will also be fed in to Healthwatch England to help inform national policy on children's and young people's mental health.