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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Improved emotional and mental health support for youngsters

09 December 2019

The 'putting children first' logo
A major consultation is due to begin to improve emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people in Jersey – and parents, carers, children and young people as well as those working with children and young people are being asked to give their views.

This piece of redesign work is part of the commitment to Putting Children First and is being led by Children, Young People, Education and Skills (CYPES) working closely with Health and Community Services (HCS).

The Children’s Minister, Senator Sam Mézec, said this will involve developing a new model of care to improve emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people.

Senator Mézec said: “It will also ensure that there are clear pathways for when children and young people need more acute care during a crisis or if they need to go into hospital or off-Island. An important part of developing the new model of care is speaking with professionals who work with children and young people across a diverse range of sectors, families, parents and carers and children and young people.”

The Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois, added: “This piece of work will consider the whole emotional wellbeing and mental health pathway for children and young people from perinatal mental health support to mothers and families during pregnancy, to early years family support, through to improving the early intervention offer in schools and the community.”

Senator Steve Pallett, Assistant Health Minister with political responsibility for mental health, said: “Improving islanders’ mental health and wellbeing is a key priority for this Council of Ministers. It is vital that our young people can easily access services and I hope that as many islanders as possible take part in the consultation.”

A number of recent reviews in Jersey such as the Assessment of Mental Health Services published in March 2019 by the Health and Social Security Panel have shown the issues with the current offering. These illustrate that more needs to be done to: 

  • Develop and deliver services in co-production – this means engaging children, young people and their families in service design and delivery;
  • Promote the mantra ‘mental health is everybody’s business’ and making better use of GPs and the voluntary and community sector in delivering services;
  • Ensure parity of esteem between physical and mental health;
  • Create appropriate support for our most vulnerable children and young people in mental health crisis;
  • Consider transition arrangements and the opportunities for a children and young people’s service to go from 0 to 25.  

There is also evidence that children, young people and their families often find it difficult to find out what support is available for them in looking after their mental health. In response, Mind Jersey and its participation group Youthful Minds, alongside Jersey Employment Trust (JET) and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) have worked together to create information on ‘Services that might help’ and a ‘Who’s who’ page hosted on the Mind Jersey website.

A series of workshops will be held over the next few months for children, young people, parents and carers to give their views. There is also a Children and Young People’s questionnaire, a parent and carer questionnaire and a professional questionnaire – for anyone working directly or indirectly with children and young people – which will be open until Friday 31 January 2020. 

The consultation will run until 31 January and a final report will be published in April 2020 with the aim to develop a new care model to improve emotional and mental health services for children and young people in Jersey by next summer. 

Consultation information can be found online.

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