Over the past few years, the mental health landscape has undergone a dramatic transformation, with a profound impact on the younger generation. A stark indicator of this change is the alarming rise in referrals to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
According to a report published by Young Minds on 27th June 2023, analysis of the NHS data by the mental health charity Young Minds shows, the number of under 18s referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) has risen by 53% since 2019, escalating to over 1.2 million in 2022.
This reality sheds light on a growing crisis that demands immediate and comprehensive attention, with Young Minds calling for urgent Government action.
The Foundation’s Engage programme, which was established in 2015, helps young people aged 7-16 years old who are disengaged from mainstream education and in need of additional support, to regain control of their academic pathway.
Operating from six hubs across Northampton, Milton Keynes, Corby and Ipswich, young people visit the Foundation up to 15 hours a week, to take part in a diverse range of activities focused on physical, social, and emotional development. These experiences are carefully crafted to facilitate healing, personal growth, enjoyment, and the creation of positive everyday memories.
The programme aims to address their unique needs, creating a nurturing environment for growth and development, helping them regain control of their academic paths and contributing to their overall well-being.
One of the programmes hubs, based at Glebe Farm School in Milton Keynes, exclusively supports young people who access the Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS). These individuals could be either at risk of admission into a tier 4 residential unit or need additional support with their mental health.
From January 2022 to May 2023 students referred from CAMHS, as part of Winter Monies grant, received by the Foundation, has seen a 100% success rate, transitioning back into the education system without further intervention from CAMHS.
The proactive early intervention for young people attending the Engage programme has actively supported the CAMHS service to provide parents with a positive opportunity at the earliest opportunity, when they may feel that the CAMHS provision isn’t adequate.
“The hub has seen inspiring results which has in turn had a positive impact for CAMHS” said Catherine Deans, Managing Director at Northampton Saints Foundation. “In some cases, young people no longer need CAMHS support meaning Engage is active in reducing waiting list times".
“As we head into the new academic year it’s important for schools, alternative education settings and local authorities to know that we are here to support the young people who are becoming disengaged through a number of factors and to reach out so they can receive the early intervention support they require”.Catherine Deans, Managing Director at Northampton Saints Foundation
The Young Minds report further discusses the volume of urgent referrals of under 18s to the mental health crisis, who experienced the most acute health symptoms, reached more than 3,500 in May, three times higher than in May 2019.
The Engage programme is a key player in providing tailored intervention to young people in desperate need to find their route to a positive future.