Teenagers in Rochdale shape future of mental health services

Teenagers in Rochdale are helping to shape the future of mental health services with a new user forum.

Young people receiving support from Rochdale Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and Rochdale and District MIND have teamed up to create a new emotional health and wellbeing council as part of their ‘Listen Up’ project to engage young people in how mental health services are run.

The ‘Your Voice Our Voice’ forum is made up of six young people and is currently recruiting new members.

The young people, aged 13 to 18 years, meet once a month to discuss how to improve mental health services for Young People in Rochdale, including Rochdale CAMHS which is run by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, and Rochdale and District MIND. It is hoped that the group will influence the future commissioning of young people’s services in the borough.

They have already held discussions around waiting times, referral processes and the re-design of the WithuinMind CAMHS website.

The forum is supported by Rochdale Council’s CAMHS Transition Worker Nichola Jones, CAMHS Participation Worker Anne Drury and Rochdale and District MIND Project Worker John Swallow.

Anne Drury said: “The young people involved in the forum have already raised important issues and shared ideas on how they would like the services to develop in the future.

“We are committed to empowering young people to have a voice in how their services are run and to make positive changes based on their suggestions.”

Both CAMHS and Rochdale and District MIND will consider the issues raised, make appropriate changes to their services and ensure young people remain involved in the decision-making.

It is also hoped that involvement in the forum will become an accredited process that will lead to a qualification for the young people.