New report says mental health services for young people in Cambridgeshire need to be more flexible

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire - Credit: Archant

Young people need more flexible and creative solutions to give them the information and support they need to stay mentally well, according to a new report.

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough spoke to more than 90 young people as part of a new report – called Minding Us - and asked them to share their thoughts about mental health care and what they wanted to change.

It was part of a project to help local mental health commissioners re-design services for children and adolescents.

Healthwatch asked youngsters what different experiences put them at greater risk of mental ill health. Many had one or more difficult life challenges, for example, dealing with prejudice, isolation, abuse or a disability.

Healthwatch worked with organisations such as Link to Change, The Kite Trust and Carers Trust to bring all the information together.

According to Healthwatch, the majority of young people wanted to talk to a trusted adult or a friend to receive information about mental health. They also asked for more awareness about how to stay mentally well and get help if they needed it.

Emma Amez, project worker for Healthwatch, said: “This report shows the need to do things differently for young people and those around them to give them the support they need before they reach crisis level.

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“Young people are telling us very clearly that they need services that are flexible and creative, so they can drop in and get support when and where they need it.

“It is important to educate young people and those around them about mental health. We need to break down the stigma of mental illness and say ‘it is okay to ask for help if you need it’.”

Anyone who has experience of young people’s mental health services, either for themselves or someone else, can talk to Healthwatch which is keen to hear how the system and services work for people.

Healthwatch is an independent watchdog which monitors healthcare services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Find out more about Healthwatch by visiting or or call on 0330 355 1285.