11 February 2022
Redesigning children and young people's emotional wellbeing and mental health is an immediate priority for the Government of Jersey.
Since the pandemic there has been an increase in both demand for mental health services and complexity of need.
This week the Government launched a major four-year plan to improve children's emotional wellbeing and mental health.
The Children and Young People's Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategy focuses on four main priorities for Jersey's children and young people to be happy and thriving and able to enjoy the best mental health and wellbeing.
Figures from some of the Government support services show that there has been an increase in demand for mental health services for children and young people aged under 18, with total referrals increasing by 26% over the last 4 years.
CAMHS Jersey: Referrals to CAMHS increased from 683 in 2020, to 855 in 2021. The CAMHS case load at the end of 2021 was 993 children and young people.
Children and Families Hub: There were 2,814 contacts and 631 referrals to Children's Social Care Services
Kooth Jersey: Last year 720 young people registered with Kooth and they have logged into the site a total of 4381 times. A total of 86 young people have engaged in structured counselling
YES: Last year the Youth Enquiry Service (YES) held 1,909 counselling sessions with children and young people with 206 accessing advice and support from youth workers through drop-in services.
Assistant Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Trevor Pointon, who has responsibility for CAMHS, said: "The full impact of COVID-19 has not yet been understood, nonetheless we know that it has placed additional burdens on children, young people, and families.
"This is why the new Children and Young People's Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategy is significant for Jersey. Four key priorities have been developed, each with measurable outcomes and detailed actions. These priorities and actions will ensure that the vision for this strategy is achieved."
The four priorities outlined in the strategy are:
- Everybody promotes good wellbeing, mental health, and resilience, by thinking about mental health in the same way to physical health and making it as simple as possible to get help early without feeling embarrassed or awkward
- It's easy for you to find out who can help and what support is available
- You get the right help and support, at the right time and in the right place
- We listen to you about what helps, and this helps us to improve the quality of our services
Schools around the Island have been marking Children's Mental Health Awareness week.
A programme of events has been organised for the week at Haute Vallée School who will also be tailoring all their curriculum areas to include aspects of mental health awareness or activities within lessons.
A 'Tree of Gratitude' will be displayed at the end of the week, which will have a leaf on it from every member of their school community.