From October ’15 until May ‘16 we conducted an independent service design investigation into the systems that support young people with mental health issues in Newcastle and Gateshead. Our work feeds directly into Expanding Minds, Improving Lives, a project being led by the health and social care commissioners of the Newcastle-Gateshead mental health services (CAMHS) with the objective of improving how the mental health needs of children and young people in the region are supported. As part of our research we undertook a series of creative workshops with young people with first-hand experience of mental health services exploring their experiences and needs. The creative workshops with the young people were delivered in partnership with film maker Julie Ballands and Helix Arts and led to the production of a film that complements our service design report.
The iterative nature of our service design process (RAW Method™) ensures that our final recommendations are realistic and implementable. This involves consulting widely with parents and carers, as well as speaking candidly (and at great length) with professionals from across the services about what they think currently works, what doesn’t and what’s missing. Our finished report contains insights into the genuine needs and desires of the children and young people whose mental health may be dependant on the efficacy of the CAMHS service, and goes on to suggest how the service could best be refocused by commissioners in order to meet young people’s needs.