09 February 2023
An increase in investment, staffing numbers, and a broader range of support has been introduced
to respond to the increase in mental health issues amongst children and young people.
The figures are being released as part of Children and Young People’s Mental Health Week which runs from the 6 to 12
February. The week highlights the importance of children and young people’s mental health. This
year’s theme – Let’s Connect – encourages children and young people to connect to the networks
and services that can support them.
Projects and Support
The 23 projects run by Jersey Youth Service, JYS, provide children and young people aged 8 and
above with a safe, supportive space to develop their interests, confidence and friendships. In
addition, JYS offers free 1:2:1 counselling service for young people aged 12 to 25 through the Youth Enquiry Service known as YES.
In 2019, YES held 1,341 counselling appointments for young people aged 12-25, which increased to
1,553 in 2022. The team have also trialled different means of offering support, including a Saturday
morning drop-in session.
The Children and Families Hub was set up in 2020 to make it easier for children, young people and
families to find the information and advice they need, at the right time. As well as offering an
online directory, members of the public and practitioners can seek help, advice and support by
calling 01534 519000 or email to email@example.com.
In 2020, when the service was launched, it responded on average to contacts for 213 children per
month which rose to contacts for 317 children per month in 2022.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, known as CAMHS, offers children and young people and their
families 1:1 and group interventions for mental health issues. The service also manages
neurodevelopmental assessments including for ADHD and Autism.
In 2019, there were 661 referrals for mental health to CAMHS. In 2022, this figure was 1209. Over
the last year, CAMHS has recruited an additional 45 staff; increased its on-call hours, and
developed an Early Intervention Service to support children and young people who need low-level
mental health support.
Young people logged into Kooth – a site which provides free, safe and anonymous mental health support – a total of 3,646 times in 2022, compare to 3,901 times in 2021. The online service was
originally trialled in 2020 for 14 months, and has been renewed in response to demand.
Head of Service comments
Head of Children’s Health and Wellbeing and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Dr
Darren Bowring, said: “We know that COVID-19 responses had a profound impact on children and
young people’s mental health. At the same time, we’ve seen the public conversation around mental
health develop so that children and young people are more aware of mental wellbeing, and feel
more confident in seeking support.
“Since 2019, we’ve seen an increase in reports of anxiety and depression, in self-harm and in
instances of eating disorders. In Jersey have been prepared for the increased demand for services,
with the launch of the Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategy 2022-2025, with significant additional Government plan investment in 2021.
“As we’ve recruited more staff, redesigned services, and introduced new pathways for support, we
are now bringing those waiting times down. While we maintain that quick response, our next
priority is extending the hours of our service, introducing a new neurodevelopmental service and
introducing out of hours crisis support.”
Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Inna Gardiner, said: “Because we’ve seen demand rise
so sharply, we have increased the services on the ground we provide to meet this increase in need.
While we’ve worked to decrease waiting times, especially in CAMHS, I expect to see our services
grow and develop during the rest of my term as Minister.
“We are also providing the strategic direction and the funding we need to make improvements.
The Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, launched last
year, has set out a clear direction of travel and I will be reviewing the first year’s work shortly.”
More information about support services on children and young peoples mental health is available.