Award for young peoples’ mental health model
A CWP staff member has won a national award for her work with young people to improve mental health services in Cheshire.
Claire Evans, Participation and Engagement Lead, was named National Lead of the Year at the Young Advisor Awards 2016.
The award comes two years after CWP became the first NHS Trust to sign up to the national Young Advisors scheme, which gives 15 to 24-year-olds the chance to influence decision-making and improve community services in their area.
Young Advisors meet with community leaders, support local events, create presentations, reports and surveys and develop training for healthcare professionals.
CWP’s Young Advisors recently completed work for the Trust’s Substance Misuse Service which has helped the service create an action plan. The lived experiences of CWP’s Young Advisors, many of whom have used the Trust’s mental health services, have also helped to produce training for GPs, A&E and Paediatric staff on caring for young people in crisis or those who have self-harmed.
Claire works in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) at CWP and says many young service users have benefitted from becoming Young Advisors: “Our Young Advisor model is unlike other groups who may advertise the roles publicly.
“Instead, we work with young people who have already completed engagement work with CAMHS to understand their needs and, where appropriate, support them in their Young Advisor role as part of their recovery.
“It’s been inspirational to see these young people take the opportunity with both hands and I’m very proud of them and their amazing achievements.
“I’m also very thankful that CWP saw the potential and committed to this model as it is helping so many local young people, both within CWP and throughout local communities.”
CWP currently has ten active Young Advisors and plans to expand the scheme throughout the Trust, with local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) supporting the model to ensure its sustainability.
Photo: Claire Evans (far right) with some of CWP's Young Advisors