Set up by children’s mental health charity Place2Be, this week shines a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health.
This year’s theme is ‘Find your Brave’ and in Medway, charities joined forces to bring more solution to families and children in needs.
It’s in the St Augustine’s Church that Medway mental health services hosted a free information day on children and adolescent mental health.
Rebecca Smith works for North Kent Mind charity came up with the idea:
“We noticed that in the area there is no services that meet up, there’s a lots of services that actually go around but no one really knows who they are and what they do.
“So what I did was get in contact with the church and they wanted to put themselves out there on the map as well and create a community hub.
I contacted the local services and just asked them if they were willing to come, just so we could all have more information and get everyone together.”
According to official NHS figures, nearly 13% of children aged between five and 19 have at least one diagnosable mental-health disorder
England’s Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield conducted a report that revealed huge disparities across the country, with thresholds for care and waiting times from referral to first treatment appointment varying widely.
Rebecca Smith said that the lack of knowledge was problematic in Medway:
“ There’s lot of people here, there’s lots of schools, lots of adult but actually in terms of the services its quite spread-out and there is not as much knowledge as in other places about what goes on.
“So we try and bring them together and work out who’s where and what do they do and what can they do and how can be best uses the support that we have.”
Among the participants are the NHS Medway Sexual Health, Gillingham Community Hub or Wellbeing and recovery Open Road charity.
All of them gathered to raise awareness on Children’s mental health Week and create link within the health community services.
Rachel Parker works for the NHS Sexual Health and runs the Chlamydia Screening Program.
She usually goes to schools and colleges to raise awareness but agreed on the importance of creating a “networking opportunity”:
“ It’s always good to have information form the other services so when we’re talking to young people we can share the information that we know and know where to access the information and I think that’s quite key,” She said.
Kent Charities and Mental Heath services will be hosting other events this year, the next one is hoped to be on International woman day.
List of the services available in Medway for children and adolescents:
Medway Sendias: Free and impartial help for parents/carers, children and young people.
Gillingham Community Hub: Community hubs provide face-to-face contact for a variety of enquiries about council and partner services, including making payments, purchasing parking vouchers, and access to information and support.
Family Action: Medway Perinatal Support Service Team
Medway Youth Services: Youth activities in Medway: Luton and Rainham, Gillingham and Twydall, Rochester West, Strood and Hoo Peninsula, Chatham and Walderstade and Rochester East.
Children and Fanily Hub: Children and Family Hubs offer families with children places to meet new people. Our children’s centres ensure that all children get the best start in life and parents get the support and advice they need.
NHS Sexual Health Centre: Medway Sexual Health services are run from our main hub at 4 Clover Street, Chatham.
Open Road Recovery: Open Road Medway supports adults who are affected by drug an/or alcohol misuse. We offer a wide range of individual and effective recovery solutions.
LGBT – Stand Out: Youth group for LGBTQ people aged between 16 and 25 in Medway