Mental health needs of adolescents must be tackled urgently

Two strategies aimed at improving mental health services for
adolescents have been launched in conjunction with Community
‘Changing Minds’ campaign, writes Katie

The first comes from mental health charity YoungMinds, which
claims that adolescents’ mental health needs to be addressed
urgently at all levels via schools, information in colleges, clubs
and pubs, and by the provision of a focused specialist adolescent
mental health community service.
The strategy proposes a “virtual” team to assess and treat young
people between the ages of 16 and 25. This team would be made up of
interested adult and child psychiatrists in each area, together
with a number of other professionals including social
As the professionals would also be part of child and adolescent
mental health servies (CAMHS) and adult mental health services, the
young people would be able to move seamlessly across the service
boundaries while receiving appropriate care throughout.  
The strategy suggests that a specialist service needs to be in an
acceptable setting and not constrained by existing outpatient
arrangements. More appropriate settings could be a youth club or at
Meanwhile Youth Access, the membership association for young
people’s advice and support services, has launched its own
strategy, ‘Breaking down the Barriers’, which identifies eight
immediate priorities.
It aims to make sure that young people can access counselling
services quickly and easily, wherever they live. In addition it
hopes to improve access to services for young people in rural areas
as well as those who are hard to reach.
YoungMinds strategy from 020 7336 8445
Youth Access strategy from 020 8772 9900

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