Understanding access to mental health support through school and collegeDownload (PDF 1.08MB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch North Somerset asked young people about the kind of mental health support they received or wanted from their school or college or another provider. Between December 2018 and March 2019, they engaged with young people with an age range from 13 years to 25 years via an online survey and by face-to-face engagement using a tick sheet which gathered information. The questions were designed with the help from Wellspring Young People Counselling Service. They received feedback from 89 people, majority of them identifying themselves as females (42%) compared to 18% males and those aged 15 and 17 provided the maximum number of responses.
The report found that the respondents confided mostly in parents, friends and teachers when they had difficult feelings. When they told an adult in school, in 39% of cases they were passed on to a service, most often a school Counsellor or a local online service. If they confided in someone outside school they were mostly referred to the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), back to a school Counsellor or a local online service. The wait for response was highest from CAMHS and about 42% felt the treatment was not provided for long enough. 44% felt the support they received did not at all make them feel better. Young people reported on the perceived barriers to get help and chose areas that services could improve.
The report recommended ways to the service providers and commissioners to improve mental health support through school & college and expected a written response from them within 20 working days.