Work to improve mental health services for young people in Dorset

Work to improve mental health services for young people in Dorset

Published by Maria Greenwood at 8:35am 20th May 2020.

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May), so Healthwatch Dorset is highlighting some of the challenges local people face when accessing mental health services.

They also want to make local people aware that community support plays a big role in helping people manage their mental health.

Prior to lockdown, Healthwatch visited youth groups and local organisations across Dorset to talk to young people who they say don’t always have a strong voice.

This includes youngsters excluded from school, young offenders, care leavers, young asylum seekers and the homeless.

The main issues raised were: 

  • Long waiting times to use health services
  • Not enough sessions
  • Lack of crisis support
Young teenager girl

To develop Healthwatch Dorset's work in the area they are launching a 'Young Listeners' project to develop their work in the area. 

Louise Bate is the Healthwatch Dorset Manager. She said last year, 17% of all enquiries to Healthwatch Dorset were about mental health services and this continues to be a common area of concern and complaint.  

"There is a huge demand for services and, with coronavirus and social isolation widely reported to be impacting on people's mental health, demand for support looks set to grow, particularly for young people.  

"We are making sure that Dorset's mental health services listen and respond to public feedback.  

"We are also raising awareness of mental health support in the community, which plays such a vital role in helping people not only survive, but also to thrive."