Children’s Mental Health Week is happening from the 5th to 11th February, and this year’s theme is ‘My Voice Matters’.
In south east London we are committed to listening to our communities. Last year, through South London Listens – a community-driven partnership to promote mental wellbeing – we were asked to improve the experience for young people waiting for mental health services by creating a virtual waiting room.
Using an online portal, originally used to gather children’s health information, myHealthe was developed to digitally connect families and teachers with child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Southwark, Lewisham, Lambeth and Croydon.
Over 7500 families now have access to myHealthe, which offers a range of resources and video content created by clinicians to support families on waiting lists. Efforts are now underway to expand this service to other south London boroughs.
Building on this work, in November last year, three Mental Health Trusts – South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and South West London & St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust – pledged to go even further in improving engagement for young people and parents on the CAMHS waiting list. This work, co-produced with young people and parents, will take place over the next year.
Children’s mental health week is also about empowering children and young people to believe their voice matters and to give them the tools to do so. In south east London, residents have access to Kooth, a free, safe and anonymous place for young people to find online support and counselling. There’s lots for young people to try on Kooth.
For more information visit Kooth’s website.