Young people in Wales are failing as they move from children’s mental health services to adult mental health services
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Post : Mon 16 May 2022
Mental health services are failing young people when they move from services for children to services for adults, says a mental health charity.
Mind Cymru is calling on the Welsh Government to make urgent changes to improve the system.
Nia Evans, Head of Children and Young People at Mind Cymru, said: “Young people have told us that their needs, thoughts and feelings about moving to adult services are often overlooked or overlooked.
“Often the Welsh Government’s own guidelines are not followed, leaving young people without the support they are entitled to.”
“The Welsh Government must support local health boards to ensure this does not happen, change the way services are run and ensure our young people are heard and properly cared for.”
Mind Cymru has released a report, following interviews with young people about their experiences transitioning from specialist child and adolescent mental health services (SCAMHS) to AMHS.
They highlighted five key areas where services are failing young people:
– Poor information offered to young people, especially on their rights
– Inconsistent use and monitoring of care and treatment plans
– High thresholds for SCAMHS and AMHS referrals to accept
– Feeling abandoned/cut off from SCAMHS
– Age still dominates the decision-making process to move from SCAMHS to AMHS
Nia Evans said: ‘Any of these issues could make it difficult for our young people to transition from services for children to services for adults. But often more than one occurs at a time.
“Our young people have a right to the care and support of a mental health system that has been put in place to help them recover. Steps should be taken immediately to ensure support systems are sturdy and do the job they were designed to do.
Mind Cymru is asking people to email their Senedd (MS) member and amplify the voices of these young people whose experiences are often unprecedented, and to use the hashtag #SortTheSwitch on social media.
The full report is available here, including what a good transition from SCAMHS to AMHS would look like for young people, and where the current system could be improved.