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Cross Sussex work on young people’s mental health “even more important” following pandemic

Councillors on Brighton and Hove’s Children, Young People and Skills Committee will today discuss ongoing work to improve mental health services for young people across Sussex 

Councillors will today discuss vital work being completed across Sussex to improve mental health services for children and young people.   

The Foundations for our Future review, which was completed before the pandemic, addressed how work needs to be done to improve the service young people receive.

Figures being presented to councillors today show that there has been a national increase of just over 5% of children experiencing poor mental health. Greens say that against this backdrop, the work needed on mental health provision is even more important, and stressed the need for progress on implementing the review recommendations. While the project is Sussex-wide, there are important recommendations for the local NHS Clinical Commissioning group, and partner councils across the region.

Today’s report shows that of 20 original recommendations from review, 3 have been completed, 3 are amber, 1 is red and 13 are green (on track). The actions on track or completed include: 

·       Appointing a programme director and oversight board to oversee the work (completed) 

·       Working to commission services on a Sussex wide basis (on track) 

·       Providing a single point where young people can access mental health services (on track)  

·       Accelerating the pilot of mental health support teams in schools (on track) 

Cllr Hannah Clare, who chairs the Children, Young People and Skills committee said: 

“Young people regularly raise concerns with us about the support they need for their mental health and we continue to raise these concerns with our local NHS and the CCG who commission children’s mental health services for our area. 

“I’m pleased to see that work is progressing on Foundations for our Future following the important review – but the increase in young people experiencing poor mental health shows the need for services is greater than ever. I urge quicker progress on implementing the recommendations of the review if we are to help young people recover from the pandemic.” 

Cllr Jamie Lloyd, who leads for the Green Group of Councillors on young people’s mental health added: 

“The pandemic has presented challenges for us all, not least our city’s young people. I’m pleased to see work on improving young people’s mental health services is continuing and urge NHS officials providing clinical mental health services to continue to act on these important recommendations, as doing so means young people will get access to the vital support they need.” 

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