At the Association for Young People’s Health (AYPH) we’ve long been interested in the challenges facing parents, other carers and young people in navigating child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). We’ve undertaken a series of projects on the topic including scoping the literature, undertaking an online survey of parents, attending groups and hearing directly from parents who were struggling to access support, and talking to young people.
We have also held several events including a report launch at the House of Lords and a multi-disciplinary stakeholder event.
Most recently we completed a scoping of parent support groups and resources in England and we developed Help For Parents, a website directing parents and carers to sources of support, advice and information. We are currently involved in an evaluation of the Rollercoaster parent support services in Northumbria. Our previous work can be found on AYPH’s website.
We took a step back recently to look at all the work in the round, and consider the emerging policy and practice issues. Our interest is in finding solutions. In our new briefing we have identified examples of good practice and next steps for developing more parent support. There are things that can be done nationally as well as locally. We hope that it will stimulate debate in the sector, help parents and the young people they care for feel more supported, and lead to improvements in local CAMHS offers to parents and carers.
Our main messages are:
Improving parental support is not a replacement for expanding young people’s mental health services, but it is an important part of supporting young people through treatment and recovery. We hope this overview will encourage more investment in the topic and provide pointers for next steps