New mental health website expected to go live next year

A new mental health support service is expected to go live next April as services face a “surge in demand.”

This will be a new website where young people will be able to access advice and support on how to improve their mental health but also get extra support if they need it.

It’s being brought in as Wirral councillors said services face a “surge in demand” dealing with mental ill-health in the borough at a health committee meeting on July 18.

This new model looks to be more effective and coordinated as services face various issues in demand. Earlier in the meeting, councillors were told that one in six young people across Cheshire and Merseyside were now impacted by serious mental ill-health, up from one in nine.

According to a Wirral Council report, the new model is needed because “stretched services, tight thresholds and long waiting lists can make it very hard for children and young people to get the help that they need when they need it.”

An emotional wellbeing report from 2022 showed that the rate of self-harm amongst 10- to 24-year-olds in Wirral is three times the rate of the English average and the number of children ending up in hospital due to mental health issues is increasing.

Some services also face long wait times with assessment for children’s mental health services being 22 weeks and a further 22 week wait for the provision of any therapy to begin.

According to a Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust report, 50% of referrals to a mental health support team in Wirral from primary schools in 2022 are now for children with anxiety and four out of five are from the most deprived areas of Wirral.

Across Wirral, Liverpool, Cheshire, Warrington, Bolton and other areas, there were 4,366 referrals for children, 13,144 for adults, and 1,133 for people with learning disabilities. This means services are dealing with thousands of people per month.

The report said because services work separate from each other, it can make it hard to address issues and “it is not possible to track a child or young person’s journey through services or understand what someone has accessed before they hit a crisis point.”

Councillors were told at the meeting that 70% of referrals to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) did not meet the threshold of receiving treatment. It’s thought that by accessing help first through the website, young people will be able to get help quicker even if they are later referred to CAMHS.

Despite the new service, the committee was told that services were stretched with a lack of funding in recent years. Jo Watts from Cheshire and Wirral Partnership told the committee that while funding has increased in the last five years, “that has been against a backdrop of a lack of investment in mental health services for a long period of time.”

Councillors were also told services were seeing higher rates of stress and depression since the pandemic.

Images: GOOGLE

Why not follow birkenhead.news on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter? You can also send story ideas to news@birkenhead.news

Share this

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter

Facebook comments

Latest news