Three London NHS trusts, the charity CW+ and other national partners have teamed up to launch a new mental health service for young people.
The Best For You service will include a new digital platform, which will bring together information, digital tools and apps in one place to support young people needing urgent mental health support.
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and West London NHS Trust are joined by CW+ – Chelsea and Westminster’s charity – along with other local and national partners, to deliver the transformative, patient-centred model of care for child and adolescent mental health.
Claire Murdoch, chief executive of the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are determined to improve mental health care for our children and young people. The NHS can’t do this alone. We have to do this in collaboration with young people and their families, and with our partners in the charitable and private sector. Together, we can transform the way we treat the increasing numbers of young people requiring urgent mental health support.”
The launch marks the first time that specialist medical and mental health care is integrated with community services and digital tools. Best For You will provide comprehensive, rapid and long-term care in a way that can best meet the needs of the individual user and their family.
Lesley Watts, chief executive of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, added: “I am delighted we are officially launching Best For You today. It is a pioneering approach, centred around the needs of younger people and their families. Best For You is an innovative model of care that is easier and faster to access, offers joined-up and comprehensive care and I believe sets a new standard for children and younger people’s mental health in our area.”
The website is the first element of Best For You to launch. Now live, it includes a portfolio of innovative, clinically-assessed and age-appropriate digital aids, including ORCHA-accredited apps. Users can also find crisis information, including a dedicated text support service that is free, confidential and available 24/7; peer support; and information on accessing mental health services, on conditions and support available.
Carolyn Regan, chief executive of West London NHS Trust, said: “The launch of the digital platform today is the first of many milestones for the Best For You programme. With young people increasingly turning to online resources to seek peer-to-peer support as well as expert guidance, we’ve engaged with young people to develop content that reassures, inspires and encourages others to seek help.
“By working with young people and their families and by bringing together NHS experts and our local and national partners, we hope we can continue to urgently transform how care is delivered to help more young people in crisis.”
Post-pandemic mental health support for young people has become even more important with new services and initiatives launching. The North West London Mental Health Collaborative is one example, having recently extended its digital mental health services across the whole of North West London.