Representatives from Hafal have presented their ‘Making Sense’ report to Welsh Government’s review of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), the ‘Together for Children and Young People Programme’.
Former CAMHS users Mair Elliott, 18, and Jake Roberts, 22, have been involved in writing the report, which has been published today. The report, titled ‘Making Sense’, is supported by the High Needs Collaborative (Hafal, Mental Health Foundation, Bipolar UK and Diverse Cymru) in partnership with Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People.
The report makes ten recommendations to improve CAMHS based on the findings of a consultation the partnership held in autumn 2015. Over 500 people were involved in the consultation, including CAMHS users, carers of CAMHS users and young people under 25.
Three-quarters of CAMHS users said they have a negative experience of CAMHS. When CAMHS users were asked who they would prefer to turn to for help, 56 percent said friends, 44 percent said education-counselling services and 39 percent said teachers.
The report recommends that teachers, education counselling services and other youth services should play a major role in supporting the well-being and mental health of children and young people, including those with mental health problems. It says specialist CAMHS should only be involved with young people with the highest needs.
Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford has said many referrals to CAMHS referrals are ‘inappropriate’ and turn out not to need specialist CAMHS.
Hafal representative Jake Roberts said: “We’ve been working hard on our Making Sense campaign over the last few months, so it’s great to have been able to present our report to the Together for Children and Young People Programme. We’re really pleased that our report has given young people and their carers a voice in Welsh Government’s review of CAMHS. We’d like to thank everyone who took part”.