Young people supporting mental health services!

CAMHS specialise in providing help and treatment for children and young people 0-18 years. But what happens when their CAMHS service comes to an end? A group of young people have some suggestions.

Members of FYA have got together to design a peer support programme where young people support each other after leaving CAMHS.  The group were trained as peer mentors and supported to make a film documenting a live peer support group run by young people who recently exited the service.

Halima, one the peer mentors said about the project; “Most of the young people who leave CAMHS don’t get any support. It’s been good to have people around you [after leaving] who understand your situation and get where you are coming from.  I feel like this has very much improved my mental health. You are all in a group, all working together on what CAMHS should do with kids who have just left CAMHS.”

The FYA peer support group hosted at The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust has been co-designed and co-delivered by young people, an approach called co-production.

Andre Schott, Chief Executive at Fitzrovia Youth in Action said:

“We have seen how brilliantly young people can use their unique experiences and skills to support each other, as well as work alongside service providers like CAMHS to help run provision in a more youth-led way. This programme is a great collaboration between all stakeholders to co-produce services which combine one-to-one CAMHS support with the power of group work in the community. Through taking the lead in planning and delivering programmes with their peers, young people gain confidence and skills and inspire others to become involved ”.

Rachel James (Clinical Services Director at Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust) said:

“Co-production is a way of working that involves people who use health and care services, carers and communities in equal partnership. This peer support group was a great example of co-production because not only did the young people co-design and co-deliver the peer support group but they filmed the process and compiled a list of recommendations for other CAMHS services across the country. Mental health support services are under unprecedented demand and peer support is a very effective way to provide extra support to young people transitioning from children to adult services”.

The short film documents how young people get to know each other, discuss future options for co-production and make recommendations for both CAMHS and peer support groups across the country. It can be viewed at

From 1st July, FYA will support a new group of young people who recently exited CAMHS to build on the recommendations of the first cohort and work closely with The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust on how peer support could be incorporated into the wider mental health offer.

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