During the months of October and November, young people from the NCS Local Action Group worked alongside Caroline from Healthwatch West Sussex, to create their ‘ideal’ mental health service for young people. With Covid-19 impacting the wellbeing of so many young people, currently the group felt this was an extremely important cause to work on, especially with the knowledge that their participation could effect change in services when working alongside powerful organisations like Healthwatch.
Members of the NCS Local Action Group initially met virtually to have a discussion with Caroline about the effects of COVID 19 on healthcare services.
They discussed how they would like to be treated when using a virtual GP service and came up with ways to improve this service.
These improvements included - asking for a friendly welcome text outlining the expectations of a zoom appointment, longer appointment times to cater for technical difficulties and reassurance on information sharing.
More information can be found at: https://www.healthwatchwestsussex.co.uk/report/2020-11-02/how-build-rapport-and-help-health-professionals-communicate-during-pandemic
This report has gone to a wide range of stakeholders across Sussex, including the Clinical Commissioning Groups, and Digital Workstream Groups for the Integrated Care System. Healthwatch West Sussex is also using this and other systems to co-design ‘what providers need to do’ guides along with a simple guide for the public.
Following this, young people then decided as a group, to focus on improving mental health services for children and young people. They wrote a letter and designed an informative poster listing their requirements for a safe and supportive mental health service.
Mental health is a huge conversation to be had, especially currently, due to Covid-19, the staff and young people at Crawley NCS suggest you to seek support if you need it - this could be from friends, family or your local GP service.
Here at Crawley Town Community Foundation, we have support services for those experiencing social isolation, if you or someone you know might need some support please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For young people, there are a range of services that will be available throughout the Christmas break, such as The Mix (0808 808 4994) and Papyrus (0800 684 141).
Please do reach out for help if you need it!