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New recruits support young people with their mental health

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Mental ill health can affect anyone at any time, but despite growing understandings of mental health issues it can still be a difficult topic of discussion.

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) is making it easier for their young service users to talk about mental health, with the help of peer support workers who have lived experience of mental health issues. The Trust has recruited six young adults to support service users accessing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

CAMHS Peer Support and Involvement Lead, Abbie Futter, explained that the peer support workers will offer young service users a peer with a deep emotional understanding of what they may be experiencing.

“The peer support workers will support our young service users as an equal who they can relate to, not a medical professional. The peer support workers will help young people to engage with our service, particularly the harder to reach groups. They will also help the young people transitioning out or across services, as we recognise this is a difficult time for young people.”

Rhiannon Done, one of the six peer support workers explained her reasons for wanting to help other young people in Lincolnshire.

“I have suffered with mental health issues myself, and they worsened in my teens at school. I didn’t have the best support system when I was suffering, and eventually I began using mental health services. My care coordinator was a friend and a lifeline to me, and I decided that I wanted to be that for someone else.”

Another peer support worker enthusiastic about providing empathic support for young people is Rebecca Sampson.

She said:

“When people suffer with mental health issues, they don’t ask for it; it’s not their choice. I believe that if you do recover from mental ill health, you can use that by offering people help; by making a good thing out of something that was bad.”

The peer support workers began their induction into the Trust late last year and are now working in teams across Lincolnshire.

As part of Children’s Mental Health Week 2018, the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services have worked with young service users to develop an anti-stigma video to continue the conversation about mental health and encourage young people to be themselves. The peer support workers have also visited local schools to provide talks about mental health awareness.

To find out more information about the support for young people struggling with mental health problems in Lincolnshire visit wearecamhslincs.nhs.uk