Mental health services help young people

An increasing number of young people are benefiting from improved mental health services throughout the UK. This is according to Care Services Minister Paul Burstow, who was speaking about progress made regarding the delivering of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) for children and young individuals.

Mr Burstow explained that by 2013, more than one-third of under 19s - which equates at around four million people - will reside in a location where Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) have been transformed.

The politician revealed he has also secured additional government funding for the Time to Change initiative in order to help youngsters overcome the stigma attached to their mental illness.

He said of the government: "I am delighted that as part of the next phase of their work they are focusing on children and young people."

The Society has been working closely with the Department of Health (DH) over the past 18 months via our Division of Clinical Psychology's Faculty for Children Young People & their Families (CYPF) to shape CYP-IAPT.

Dr Duncan Law, Chair of the Faculty, sits on the programme's expert reference group and co-chairs the 'critical friends forum' with the Royal College of Psychiatrists

The faculty has representation across all the DH task and finish groups within the DH CYP-IAPT: Outcomes and Evaluation, Curriculum Development, Service Development and Accreditation groups.

Dr Law said: "It was a real privilege to present as the first national CYP-IAPT conference, it has been a phenomenal amount of work to get things to this stage, and it is incredible how far the CYP-IAPT programme has developed over the last year - it's real testament to the power of collaboration between the different professional bodies, the third sector and service user organisations - notably Young Minds. 

"It is great that Paul Burstow, has given such support to the programme - he said it was his 'proudest achievement as a minister to date'. The announcement of the extra £22 million to expand it further to provide training in Systemic Family Therapy and IAPT is very welcome. 

"The E-Learning package is a really exiting development and the Faculty is collaborating with the Royal Colleges to shape its development. 

"But we mustn't be complacent - in many ways the real work has just begun, the roll out of CYP-IAPT is a hugely ambitious plan - encouraging clinicians to use the service user feedback and outcomes tools to further a culture of shared decision making and collaboration will create a real and important change for many young service users and their families across CAMHS.

"Creating this shift in culture will be a big challenge and one that presents an opportunity for clinical psychologists to lead the way in sharing our skills in research and collaborative practice. 

"It has been an iterative process getting things to where they are now and the programme will continue to develop and improve if we keep up the constructively critical debate, keeping the focus on what services users want and need and guided by best evidence."

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