Integration Index - young people and mental health as they become an adultDownload (PDF 1.67MB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch West Sussex produced a Health and Care Experience profile about young people transitioning from children’s to adult mental health services.
This was part of a project led by Healthwatch England and NHS England to develop a qualitative methodology as part of the Local Integration Index. Eight local Healthwatch piloted this methodology by focussing on particular local groups with experiences of care across several health and care services. This methodology can be used to ensure people’s experiences of integration are used by local systems to track how services are working together locally.
In this report, Healthwatch West Sussex look at national and local data on the service people in this situation should expect and what they actually receive, including their own. They undertook a focus group which 7 people attended and a staff survey of a local college to which 29 people responded.
They found that some young people found it difficult to be involved in their own care due to low self esteem. GPs need to have ‘deeper conversations’ with young people who present with mental health concerns so that they gain a sense of supported understanding of their needs. Teachers need more training to identify student with poor mental health. The system needs to recognise it can feel intimidating to speak to adults/teachers/professionals. Young people said that there is a need to be supported informally by someone with empathy who is relatable and closer to them in age.
They were particularly concerned not to have to start over and over again, retelling their experience. They talked about the impact of being without support for long periods of time. Most of the staff surveyed had had negative experience of young people transitioning to adult services when they reached 18.