I was at a Youth Mental Health Network Summit recently where we reviewed the quality and cost efficiency of services currently being provided for young people.
I soaked in a lot of the presentations delivered from the day, which ranged from practical tips on involving young people in service design and delivery, reviewing the mental health pathway for young people experiencing mental health problems, setting up an evidence base and pilot study and disseminating the findings.
Above all, what struck me most were 3 things:
- The bravery of a young person standing in front of ‘health professionals’ to tell their story of the journey through mental health services and beyond; freed the professionals to look at what they can do differently;
- The willingness for the system to look at it self and change as evidenced by the attendee list to this event.
- Change is difficult. The tale of the penguins on a melting island of ice best describes the current system with some acknowledging a need for change
People who attended the event hope that this is the beginning of a momentum towards a system that is proactively responsive to people’s mental health needs, ready to take on the challenges of reduced resources but capitalising on the clear human interest and community commitment to help those affected by mental health issues.