TRANSFORMING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Watch this short animation about Best For You

The virtual launch of Best For You was streamed live via YouTube, You can watch it again here

The number of young people in the UK needing urgent mental health support has reached crisis point.

In response, a group of leading NHS organisations have come together to create Best For You, a transformative patient-centred model of care in child and adolescent mental health.

Based initially in North West London, Best For You will uniquely integrate medical and mental health with community services and digital tools to provide personalised, comprehensive and long-term care in a way that best meets the needs of the individual and their family.

Current serious problems in the provision of children’s and adolescents’ mental health services include fragmented services, a lack of early intervention, long waits for treatment and poor transition from child to adult care.

The Best For You programme will quickly and seamlessly assess, transfer and treat young people requiring help. Patients will receive ongoing, joined-up care via links with relevant community organisations and clinically-prescribed digital tools to reinforce accelerated recovery and rehabilitation.

Best For You is being developed in collaboration with young people, for young people. We are also working with all potential touch-points for young people in mental health crisis – including online, schools, GPs, A&E, community groups, peers, parents – to ensure they are equipped to help children and adolescents access the Best For You service to receive the specialist care they need for as long as required.

The first phase of Best For You is the programme websitewww.bestforyou.org.uk – which has been fast-tracked to provide a much-needed and widely accessible online port of call for young people and families looking for mental health support.

The new website uniquely combines:

  • A portfolio of innovative, clinically assessed and age-appropriate digital aids including a library of safe and ORCHA accredited apps that have been rigorously vetted and tested
  • Clinically approved information about conditions, accessing services and support
  • Crisis information including a dedicated text support service that is free, confidential and accessible 24/7
  • Peer support that aims to connect with, and inspire young people to not feel afraid about seeking support with advice on how to find the help they need

Every element of Best For You – including the new digital platform – is being developed in collaboration with young people and their families:

  • Day services will launch next year to provide a space for young people and their families to get immediate mental health support without needing an appointment including outpatient clinical care, therapies and family support. The day services will connect with the inpatient service and community services to ensure patient experience is not fragmented but instead joined-up and available long-term to support recovery and ongoing wellbeing.
  • Community services will bridge the gap between the clinical and community setting. Innovative partnerships with the private sector, schools, community groups, crisis services and digital services will ensure comprehensive and personalised care is optimised and, critically, available for as long as required.
  • A Young People’s Rapid Assessment Unit staffed by a multidisciplinary team will integrate, for the first time, medical care with mental health care to quickly and seamlessly assess, transfer and treat young people requiring help. Currently, the treatment of a young person in mental health crisis draws a line between physical and mental health assessment.

The effectiveness of Best For You is being measured by Imperial College and North West London NIHR Applied Research (NIHR) Collaboration with a view to being able to test, template and share the new model across the NHS.

Best For You will transform mental health services for young people and their families:

  • Seamless, tailored, holistic support for young people across the health and care system
  • Earlier therapeutic intervention providing mental health and physical health at the same time
  • Care for the whole family in one place
  • Rapid, cohesive and comprehensive care delivered in innovative ways using next-generation therapeutic interventions, more robust community arrangements and increased use of digital aids
  • A new model of care that can be adopted across the NHS network

For more information on the Best For You programme and to find out how you can help, please contact Kerry Huntington at kerry.huntington@cwplus.org.uk.