Research Article - Journal Clinical Psychiatry and Cognitive Psychology (2018) Volume 2, Issue 1
Transition between different UK mental health services – young people’s experiences on what makes a difference.
There is longstanding and widespread concern about the poor care offered to young people at the point of making a transition from mental health services for children and young people to services for adults. Research has highlighted that many experience sub-optimal care including poor planning, little information, limited choices and a sense of the whole process being rushed. A number of national UK government reviews have been convened over the last fifteen plus years that have raised poor mental health transitions from children and young people’s mental health services (CYPMHS) as an area requiring urgent attention; this includes Future in Mind. Promoting, protecting and improving our children and young people’s mental health (Department of Health and NHS England) which sets out the national vision for children and young people’s mental health in the UK. Young people report feeling excluded from important decisions about their care, that transition from CYPMHS is often rushed, poorly planned and that their wishes are disregarded. This article describes some of the policy background to this issue and the service improvement initiatives that have emerged in the UK in response including a new contractual indicator to try and incentivize service change. At the centre of this, the article presents the perspectives and transition experiences of a number of young people who are part of GIFT, Great Involvement Future Thinking, a partnership between a mental health consultants, researchers and trainers and young people who work as sessional workers and national advisors, drawn from across the UK, all with experience of using NHS mental health services. Three of these young people, Leanne, Amanda and Anna co-authored this article and provide vivid examples of the barriers many young people in transition can face, along with ideas as to what would improve mental health service transitions.Author(s): Cathy Street*, Leanne Walker, Amanda Tuffrey, Anna Wilson