Understanding Children and Young People's Mental Health in Suffolk

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Suffolk undertook a large scale investigation into children and young people's mental health in Suffolk. From May 2018 to July 2018, an online survey was used to collect 7088 student's feedback from 11 schools and 1 college. The report found that 68% of students are taught about mental health and wellbeing at school. Those who said their school did teach them about mental health and wellbeing had a higher wellbeing score. In terms of NHS service, students felt that it was most important that they felt safe and comfortable when accessing support, and that their information will not be shared without their permission. Exam pressure was the biggest cause of stress for both males and females and this increased as age increased. Females worry about their image far more than males, with more than half indicating they worry about it ‘most’ or ‘all’ of the time. Those who do not identify as male or female worry about their body image the most, with 61% indicating they worry about it ‘most’ or ‘all’ of the time, especially if they have been. The highest incidence of bullying was in those who don’t identify as male or female, with almost a third (31%) saying they had been bullied online within the last two months. Most young people (32%) said they spend three to four hours each day using a screen. Female average wellbeing scores consistently decrease with each increment of time spent using an electronic screen and with each increment of time spent on social media. The recommendations made by Healthwatch Suffolk included that the mental health workforce within schools should be developed; stakeholders should work together to provide a systematic approach to upskilling children and young people on mental health and wellbeing across educational settings; that Healthwatch Suffolk are to evaluate the impact of previous programmes in schools and colleges and enhance learning.

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General details

Report title 
Understanding Children and Young People's Mental Health in Suffolk
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Suffolk
Date of publication 
Monday, 11 February, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 7 May, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 31 July, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health promotion
Health protection
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Quality of treatment
Staff attitudes
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

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

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people under the age of 18
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
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? 
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.