A Space to Talk: An evaluation of the WISH Centre’s services with young people who self-harm

Centre for Mental Health, November 2018

How can services meet the needs of young people who self-harm? The report analyses outcome data and by enganging with users of WISH services and stakeholders, finds that the WISH Centre’s work makes a difference to young people, by combining counselling and psychotherapy with facilitated peer support and outreach to young people in schools and communities. Young people who attend WISH have far fewer A&E attendances during that time than before, and at least two-thirds of young people had improved wellbeing after receiving therapy and over 80% reduce or stop self-harming. It concludes that The WISH Centre’s approach creates a safe space in which young people can get expert help in dealing with difficult issues and feelings while also helping each other. And by reaching out into schools and communities it helps to tackle stigma and make it easier for young people to seek help.  The report calls for:

  • CCGs and local authorities across the country to commission services similar to WISH to support young people struggling with self-harm;
  • Commissioning more for young men, and a specific offer for young people who identify as LGBT;
  • More support for parents, carers, teachers and other professionals;
  • Awareness-raising and myth-busting about self-harm to encourage young people to seek help.

Click here to view the full report.

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Don’t be left in the dark: children and young people’s mental health

Local Government Association, February 2018

This short guide provides an overview of the challenges facing mental health and wellbeing services for children and young people. It suggests least one in 10 children and young people are affected by mental health problems, and the unreported figures are likely to be even higher. Young people are increasingly struggling with problems like anxiety, depression and self-harm, with nearly 19,000 young people admitted to hospital after harming themselves in 2015 – a 14% rise over three years. It also considers current understanding how the increasing prevalence of social media in young people’s lives is negatively impacting their emotional health.

Click here to view the report.

The wellbeing of 15 year-olds: further analysis of the 2014 What About YOUth? survey

Public Health England, January 2018

Report from Public Health England highlighting associations between health behaviours, other self-rated life factors (such as bullying and body image) and wellbeing. Its four main findings are:

  1. Young people who engaged in behaviour which might harm their health such as drinking and smoking, having poor diet or exercising rarely, or who had negative feelings towards their body size reported lower wellbeing than those who did not.
  2. Self-reported wellbeing varied depending on the relative affluence or deprivation of the family, with those whose families were in more affluent groups and living in the least deprived areas reporting higher average wellbeing.
  3. Young people who stated that they had a disability, long-term illness or medical condition reported lower wellbeing than those who did not.
  4. Young people who described their sexual orientation as gay, lesbian, bisexual or ‘other’ were more likely to have lower wellbeing than those who declared themselves heterosexual. On average these young people also reported lower life satisfaction and happiness, and higher anxiety.

Click here to view the full report.

Mental health services for post-16 students in England: (Briefing Paper 8163)

House of Commons Library, December 2017

This House of Commons Library briefing outlines recent studies on the mental health of students, Government mental health policy for students, support in further and higher education providers, the legal duties of providers and discusses issues raised. It finds that young adults aged 16–24 today are more likely than previous generations of young adults to experience mental health issues and the numbers of students reporting mental ill health is increasing.

Click here to view the briefing.

Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England – 2016

This report contains results from an annual survey of secondary school pupils in England in years 7 to 11 (mostly aged 11 to 15). 12,051 pupils in 177 schools completed questionnaires in the autumn term of 2016. The survey report presents information on the percentage of pupils who have ever smoked, tried alcohol or taken drugs and their attitudes towards these behaviours.  It also includes breakdowns by age, gender, ethnicity and region. The report observes a large increase in the number of pupils reporting that they had ever taken drugs.

Click here to view the full report.

Not by degrees: improving student mental health in the UK’s universities

IPPR, September 2017

This report finds that levels of mental illness, mental distress and low wellbeing among students in higher education in the UK are increasing, and are high relative to other sections of the population. The report calls for universities to make the issue a strategic priority and adopt a ‘whole-university’ approach based on prevention and promotion, early intervention and low-level support, responding to risk and crisis management, and referral into care and treatment.

Click here to read the full report.

MH:2K Oldham: a youth-led approach to exploring mental health

Involve, July 2017

MH:2K is a new model for engaging young people in conversations about mental health in their local area. It empowers 14-25 year olds to identify the mental health issues that they see as most important, engage their peers in discussing and exploring these topics and work with key local decision-makers to make recommendations for change.
From September 2016 to July 2017 MH:2K was piloted in Oldham.  This report presents the project’s findings and recommendations on youth mental health, the impacts of the project and the methodology of the project.

Click here to read the full report.

Click here to read the evaluation report.