10 October 2018

On the 9th of October, we held the latest meeting of our Wellbeing and Mental Health Network. A big thank you to our excellent speakers.

This network was established to assist youth work professionals in supporting the wellbeing and mental health needs of the young people they work with. It is open to London Youth members, recipients of London Youth’s Development Grant, and professionals or organisations involved in providing wellbeing and mental health support to young people. The network is an opportunity to share best practice, to network, to receive updates on what is going on in the sector, and to hear from other experts and policymakers.

Timothy Bemrose and Ayo Davies, OASIS

Timothy and Ayo introduced the work of Outreach and Support in South London (OASIS) and explained the early warning signs of mental health difficulties.

OASIS is a assessment and intervention service and part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. They aim to improve well-being and reduce the risk of symptoms worsening, and to help people get their lives back on track and reach their potential. The service is made up of clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, nurses and doctors.

Distress and disturbances can be precursors to serious mental health problems. Unusual or anomalous experiences may mean a person is at risk of psychosis and evidence based intervention can reduce untreated psychosis and delay or even prevent onset. Early warning signs of an ‘at risk mental state’ can include:

  • Struggling to cope at school, college or work
  • Preferring to spend time alone, away from family and friends
  • Feeling anxious, irritable or depressed
  • Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
  • Confused or muddled  thinking
  • Constantly thinking about particular ideas or beliefs
  • Unusual experiences like seeing or hearing things that other people can’t
  • Feeling that things and people seem strange or unreal

OASIS provide a two year package of care to help people move forward in their lives. They provide detailed assessment within 2 weeks of referral, psychological therapy, medical consultation and treatment, practical advice around issues such as housing and finances, and support in taking up new opportunities in study or work. Contact Oasis for referrals from South London at oasisreferrals@slam.nhs.uk.

You can find their presentation here.

Sabina Hafesji, Care Quality Commission

Sabina spoke about CQC’s recent thematic review of children and young people’s mental health services, Are We Listening?.

CQC is the regulator and inspector of all health and social care services in England.  They ensure that people are provided with safe, effective and high-quality care, and encourage services to improve.

The review looked at 10 areas, including Southwark and Enfield, engaged with 1,300 people, and tracked how young people moved through the system. In England, mental health problems affect approximately 1 in 10 children and young people, but it is estimated that only 25% – 35% of children and young people who need support for their mental health can access services and 50% of children and young people that are referred to CAMHS are not accepted for treatment.

The review found signs of a “system under pressure”, including staff shortages , significant gaps in provision, and high eligibility criteria. Despite this, they found clear evidence that staff work around problems in the system to focus on the wellbeing of young people. CQC calls for for young person-centric care with a l list of national, local, and regional recommendations.

You can find Sabina’s presentation here.

Policy updates

Get in touch

Look out for the next Wellbeing and Mental Health Network meeting on the 7th of December 2018. If you have any questions, please email Sara Stanton, Membership Development Officer.

Samuel Howell, Policy Officer