A new service which will support children and young people with their well-being and mental health will be launched in the new year. Peterborough City Council has been working with Cambridgeshire County Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group to develop the new service across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire.
CHUMS, a mental health and emotional well-being social enterprise, has been awarded the contract to run the new service. By pooling the resources of the three organisations, there will be a greater capacity to support more children and their families.
The service will support children and young people with mild-moderate mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as offering preventative interventions for other behaviours such as self harm.
It will also support those with significant emotional well-being difficulties arising from life events such as bereavement and bullying. Furthermore, the service will aim to build emotional resilience by helping children and young people to manage their thoughts and feelings and develop coping strategies.
Councillor Sam Smith, cabinet member for children’s services at Peterborough City Council, said: “This new service will allow us to transform our emotional well-being and mental health services to better meet the needs of children and young people.
“Effective and innovative support which is tailored for children and young people helps to prevent the escalation of emotional well-being and mental health issues into adulthood. It also improves the prospects and aspirations of children and young people into adulthood, which of course is life changing for the people being supported.”
Councillor Peter Hudson, Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council Health Committee, said: “We are looking forward to working with CHUMS in partnership with other providers in the area and expanding our offer to deliver an integrated and robust package of support to children, young people, and their families.”
CHUMS’ delivery model combines one to one talking therapies with a range of other support including a Mental Health Resiliency Group, evidence based group therapeutic support, drop-in facilities, parent/carer support and recreational therapeutic programmes to enable service users to better understand and maintain good mental health.
These various elements will be delivered throughout Peterborough and Cambridgeshire via hubs in Peterborough, Cambridge and Huntingdon, community venues, coffee shops and Connections Buses to reach children and young people living in rural areas.
Whilst the service has been designed for children and young people, the combined parent/carer support will enable positive coping and better understanding of mental health in families. School staff will also be able to access consultation and training to promote understanding and early identification and support for mental health difficulties.
The new contract is due to start on 1 January 2018.