Understanding access to mental health support through school and college

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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.  

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General details

Report title 
Understanding access to mental health support through school and college
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch North Somerset
Date of publication 
Saturday, 1 June, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Saturday, 1 December, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 1 March, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Information providing
Quality of treatment
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
16-17 years
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.