Dr Hamilton McBrien, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and Medical Director at The Priory Hospital North London comments on the launch of MindEd a website providing a wealth of information for anybody working with children and young people’s mental health issues.
It is fantastic to see the launch of the new Department of Health funded MindEd to provide skills to professionals and volunteers working with children and young people, including teachers, healthcare professionals, police, social workers and many others who support young people with mental health conditions. The statistics quoted reveal the staggering lack of knowledge and awareness about mental health issues in young people despite just how common such difficulties are, and the need for early recognition to prevent deterioration and improve long term recovery. Nowhere greater is this need than for vulnerable young people who are least able and least likely to seek help and support. The impact of early treatment has long been recognised by mental health professionals yet the investment in providing the necessary services to young people has never seemed to match.
With public resources being stretched, and the work of specialist mental health services to young people (CAMHS) having to focus on the most unwell and most at risk, a greater amount of support has been required from other agencies, particularly schools. Teachers find themselves having to provide care, support and counselling to young people with mental health conditions despite never having been trained, and rarely having any formal access to specialist supervision or guidance. Interestingly many Colleges have counsellors and currently provide robust emotional/pastoral support to young people with mental health conditions, but provision of similar in schools is much less evident, and this needs to be rebalanced.
A site like MindEd will be invaluable to professionals to learn more about the signs of mental health conditions in young people, and to provide the confidence to highlight concerns to more specialist services, such as CAMHS, when required. The earlier identification and provision of treatment should ensure better long term outcomes for young people, who otherwise may go unnoticed for years. The relaunch of the Priory website has included information about mental health disorders and their treatment, written by the specialists working in the organisation, having recognised the need for clear and concise information readily and quickly available to those who need it. MindEd is definitely worth checking out.
For further information on the full range of Priory services please call: 0845 277 4679.