The National Children’s Bureau is one of nine organisations across the UK partnering with Youth Access to put the voices of young people at the centre of how mental health services are designed and delivered.
In Northern Ireland, the programme will be led by the National Children’s Bureau who will bring young people, mental health professionals and policymakers together to co-design mental health and wellbeing services that are more responsive to the needs of young people. Young people will set the agenda for later collaboration with professionals by articulating what they believe mental health and wellbeing services should look like.
The work will build on NCB’s extensive research, practice and participation experience in children’s mental health.
The £1.4m programme announced today is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the UK’s largest funder of community activity.
Celine McStravick, Director of NCB in Northern Ireland, said:
“We are delighted to be leading on this project in Northern Ireland, giving young people a chance to challenge the stigma associated with mental health by using their personal experiences to improve support for themselves and others. It comes at a crucial time, when young people are already loudly asking for their voices to be heard and we finally have a restored Executive with the potential to bring about positive change. In the context of mental health being declared as a priority by the new Minister for Health, Robin Swann, NCB are excited to announce our plans for putting the lived experience of young people centre stage.”
James Kenrick, Chief Executive at Youth Access, said:
“This funding will enable young people to lead the design of more responsive community-based mental health services, working in collaboration with providers, commissioners and policy makers. We are excited to be working with such esteemed partners to share and spread good practice across the UK, which we expect to unleash the untapped potential of evidence-based voluntary sector models, such as the Youth Access YIACS model.
“We are exceptionally grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund for recognising the importance of reshaping mental health provision so that all young people can access the help they need and when they need it.”
For more information visit: www.ncb.org.uk/youthaccess