New wellbeing website launches for children and young people

A new e-wellbeing website has been launched to support children and young people with their mental health across Sussex. It provides self-help information, handy toolkits and a directory of local services and COVID-19 advice.

YMCA Downslink and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provide CAMHS (Child and Mental Health Services) across Sussex, are delighted to launch e-wellbeing – a website to support children and young people with their mental health.

The website, which you can find here, provides self-help information, handy toolkits, a directory of local services and Covid19 advice. e-wellbeing is different to other websites, in that it poses a series of questions to help guide young people to the appropriate content. It provides young people with self-help guidance and information about different aspects of mental health difficulties and supports them to make the decision about whether they may need help from a professional service.

Funding has been provided by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, alongside support from the NHS Sustainability & Transformation Plan, to ensure young people across Sussex can get the help they need.

Commenting on the launch of the new website, Dr Rick Fraser, Chief Medical Officer at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health services to people of all ages in Sussex said: “We are living in a time of unprecedented change around COVID-19, a time when just about every part of our lives seem very different to how they were only a few weeks ago and a time when our usual sources of support, communication and connecting may not be there. For young people this can lead to feeling isolated, frightened and stressed which can lead to mental ill health problems. What I like about the digital platform for young people is that it provides a virtual place for young people to access good quality information, support and link with others in a way that is safe and managed. This is an innovation that works in COVID-19 times but should also work well in times beyond. I look forward to seeing how this develops.”

Cat Pritchard, Wellbeing and Therapeutic Services Manager & Digital Lead, YMCA DownsLink Group, explains how the new service will work and why it is different to other ‘wellbeing’ websites: “Mental health systems and pathways are often complicated and many young people, parents & carers, and professionals remark that they are difficult to navigate. This website works to simplify the process of accessing the right help, in the right place, at the right time.

“Local services have worked incredibly hard to adapt their offers so they can continue to meet the needs of young people remotely. Now, more than ever, it’s so important that young people know there is support available to them and that there are lots of different ways they can help themselves and their peers.”

It is expected that e-wellbeing will have a range of impacts, including supporting more young people to develop skills to improve their mental health or maintain positive mental health, whist providing faster access to the right service for children and young people. It should also ensure higher rates of appropriate referrals to existing mental health services, and, in doing, should reduce pressure on frontline services, including GP surgeries and A&E.