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Share your experience of children and young people’s mental health services

29 June 2016

Essex residents are being invited to share their experiences of Essex’s mental health services for children and young people.

Essex County Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) wants to hear people’s stories about how available and easy to access the services are and also the quality of the service provided, as they gather evidence for a review.

The review has been prompted by today’s publication of Healthwatch Essex’s YEAH! 2 report, which outlines young people’s views on their experience of mental health services.

The YEAH! 2 report states that young people are asking for more information to be published about services in order to help raise awareness and highlight the fact the type of services available do not always meet their expectations and needs. Difficulties around the transition between children and adults services are also highlighted.

Healthwatch Essex CEO, Dr Tom Nutt, said: “We have looked at the experience of young people by engaging with over 800 of them and really getting into the detail of what works for them and where services don’t align with their needs or expectations.” 

Cllr Jill Reeves, Chairman of the HOSC, instigated the review. She said: “We felt that the findings from the YEAH 2 report warranted further investigation. We intend to speak to commissioners and providers, as well as residents, with the hope that it will influence improvements where they are needed.”

Anyone wishing to contribute feedback can do so by emailing by Monday 4 August. Feedback should relate to experiences within the last six months and focus on accessibility, signposting and how well services met the needs of children and young people. 

To read Healthwatch Essex’s YEAH! 2 report visit


Any information is welcome in any form, however the group is particularly interested in responses to the following questions:

1. To what extent is information about services available? Think particularly about what environments you might want to see it in (e.g. schools, colleges, GPs etc).

2. How successfully are people directed to information about services at the right time (ie at an early enough stage)? How do you think this could be improved?

3. If you were referred to a service by someone (for example by a GP or social worker) how did that process work? How satisfied were you, how quickly did it happen and how could it have been better?

4. Have you ever found that you (or a close relative or friend) were not eligible for a service that you felt was needed? What were the reasons given for not being able to access the service?

5. Have you (or a close relative or friend) found a service that you were using was not suitable for you or unsatisfactory? If so how could it have been better?

6. If you (or a close relative or friend) have moved between different mental health services, how satisfied were you with that experience and how could it have been better?

7. If you are a parent or carer, how have you found the process of seeking help and services in a time of crisis?

8. If you are a young person or parent/carer, do you feel there is enough information available about the importance of mental health and emotional wellbeing? If you are a young person, have you been provided with information about mental health issues before and if so, where?