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Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health

Three students in every class will have a mental health problem. 3 in 4 of these young people fear the reactions of their friends. The Make Time 4 Mental Health campaign, launching in November, is aimed at people who know someone with a mental health problem – family, friends, colleagues and neighbours – but who don’t realise the impact their attitudes and behaviours can have or who don't know what to say and do.

Social and emotional wellbeing creates the foundations for healthy behaviours and educational attainment. It also helps prevent behavioural problems (including substance misuse) and mental health problems. It is therefore important to focus on the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people.

This is in line with the overarching goal of children's services, that is, to ensure all children have the best start in life (Fair society healthy lives).

What is happening in Walsall?

An Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health needs assessment was undertaken in 2015 to identify the needs of children and young people in Walsall which highlighted the below

  • The consequences of untreated mental health problems can be long lasting and far reaching, so early intervention is essential
  • 50% of mental health issues are evident by the time a young person is 14 years of age
  • Many children and young people do not receive timely, accessible and high quality support
  • In Walsall, approximately 2,970  pre school children are likely to have a mental health disorder and 4,380  school-age children (5-16 years). (based on national modelling)
  • Boys are more likely (11.4%) to have experienced or be experiencing a mental health problem than girls (7.8%) but young men 15-17 years and young people from black and minority ethnic groups were least likely to access mental health support services in Walsall.
  • Between 2006 and 2011 there were 10 suicides in Walsall residents aged 14 to 24 years: roughly about 2 per year.
  •  Hospital admissions as a result of self harm in Walsall have increased in recent years, especially in young women.
  •  Higher number of girls were referred to CAMHS for deliberate self harm compared with boys in the last two years (2013/14 – 2014/15).

The groups identified as at particular risk in Walsall are:

  • Children in Need, Children on a Child Protection Plan and Looked After Children
  • Children with Special Educational Needs and Learning Disability,
  • Youth Offenders,
  •  Young people at transition to adult services (age 17/18)
  •  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community,
  •  Travellers and Refugees,
  •  Teenage Parents and young people who are pregnant
  •  Homeless Young People,
  • Young people who are Not in Employment Education or Training
  • Young people experiencing domestic abuse or in a home where domestic abuse takes place
  •  Young Carers

Consultation was undertaken with young people and their parents. This showed that;

  • Young people are most likely to try “not to panic” if they felt anxious or sad. There was recognition that it is normal to feel sad sometimes and bottling things up is not good.
  • Young people would seek support initially from parents, carers and other family members or peers who they trusted
  • Phone based services were seen as valued
  • There was a good understanding of CAMHS from those who used this service, but delays in diagnosis and long waiting lists for assessments and other appointments were identified
  • Those young people asked said they were aware of advice and support services in schools.
  • Relationships with social workers/teachers was seen as fundamental.  There was a concern from parents regarding  the inevitable stress of testing and exams.
  • Outside of statutory services, young people appear to be less well-informed once they leave school
  • Parents cope with their children’s health and wellbeing support needs much better if there is a good quality of communication between themselves and the range of professionals delivering services and fellow parents.

Make Time 4 Mental Health

This year, the campaign is asking every secondary school in England to take students through the Make Time 4 Mental Health programme. The programme is made up of 4 simple, scripted 10 minute sessions to deliver in assembly or form time and is free to download. If you are interested in signing up please follow this link and you’ll hear back about the resources and session plans. Please feel free to share this with anyone you feel is necessary

Youth Mental Health Hub

A new page has now been added to NHS Choices pages - the Youth Mental Health Hub – which aims to help young people find reliable information about symptoms, conditions, treatments and services available to them.

The Hub was designed with young people, and includes articles, videos and interactive content, as well as links to resources elsewhere on the Internet. To access, please click here