18 October 2019

Top award for mental health team who help young people move into adult services

CAMHS Win Photo

A peer support group set up to help young people transferring from Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) has won a top award.

The South Gloucestershire CAMHS transitions group, which is run by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, was set up in January 2019 to try and reduce the stress often associated with the transition period.

On World Mental Health Day (Thursday 10th October) members of the group were invited to attend the Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards where it was announced that they had won the category of 'Initiatives to support transition from children and young people's to adult mental health services.'

Kutie Ngundu, Community Service Manager for South Gloucestershire Psychological Therapies & Recovery Services, said: "The transfer between CAMHS and AMHS is recognised as a particularly difficult time for young people with changes to ways of working and responsibility. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend providing peer support to help with the process, so we set up a group to help us identify what support is needed, who young people might want to speak to about the transition and what they would like to know as part of the process."

A fortnightly support group was developed where those taking part would learn basic living skills like cooking and cleaning and where someone from a local support agency could talk about their work and how to access support.

Since January the group has grown and now has ten regular attendees, with some members of the group also providing input into a number of CAMHS projects.

Kiera is one of the Peer Mentors. She said: "Our group provides transitions space for young people to express themselves and how they feel about their lives and care in a safe and friendly environment, as well as being supported by others who have already transitioned in making good life decisions. Mental health is such an important part of everyone's life and as young people it's our job to help and support each other. I was so happy to accept this award with my amazing colleagues for our hard work in supporting people in getting their lives back on track."

Nicola Burchill, Local Involvement Co-ordinator for AWP in South Gloucestershire, said: "I am extremely proud to have been part of this truly co-produced project. The group members are absolutely fantastic, and I could not be more proud of the hard work everyone has put into making this work. Meeting with, and working alongside, this fantastic group of young people is an absolute honour and I am so happy that it has the national recognition that it deserves. I'd like to thank the South Gloucestershire Locality Management Team, particularly Jenny Macdonald (Clinical Lead) for trusting our group vision and making this project possible."

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