Agenda item

Outcomes from Youth Cabinet Review on Improving Access for Young People Seeking Help and Support Around Self-Harm

-           Chief Executive to report.


Councillor Steele, Vice-Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board, introduced the report which outlined the process, findings and recommendations on the work undertaken by the Youth Cabinet to improve access for young people seeking help and support around self-harm. The recommendations from the review were endorsed by Overview and Scrutiny Management Board at its Children’s Commissioner Day meeting on the 27th February, 2014 and agreed to forward these to the Cabinet for its consideration.


The process undertaken by the Youth Cabinet replicated a scrutiny review and case studies were collected from young people to identify issues around accessing information and support services relating to self-harm. The work was supported by relevant professionals from Public Health and Mental Health Services. These case studies formed the basis of questioning for providers and commissioners.


The process was supported by three Scrutiny Members, with young people leading on discussions and questioning. There were two evidence gathering sessions, with the Youth Cabinet undertaking its own planning and preparation outside of the meetings. Assistance with report writing and forming recommendations was provided by Scrutiny Services.


Since the presentation to Overview and Scrutiny Management Board, the Youth Cabinet were invited to present the outcomes and recommendations from this review to a Borough-wide conference on suicide prevention on 3rd April, 2014.


The recommendations from the review were:-


1.         That a consistent, concise and simple message be developed and disseminated for use by ALL organisations (including schools, health and social care, youth services and the voluntary and community sector).


2.         That agencies work together to develop clear, consistent referral routes that were shared with ALL relevant organisations.


3.         In line with recommendations 1. and 2. ensure that resources/training/support were available for schools, colleges, parents, young people etc.


4.         That young people be involved in developing user-friendly information/media messages (including new technology/social media).


5.         That young people be involved in service design e.g. commissioning of school nurses.


6.         That advice to young people on self-harm be available through drop-ins, one-to-one sessions as well as web-based materials.


7.         That consideration be given to ways in which the service could ‘fit’ around the young person and that appropriate ‘out-of-hours’ advice/support be available.


8.         That the provision of information on self-harm to all schools and colleges be improved and standardised.


9.         That schools and colleges be encouraged to establish a forum to share best practice around support and advice (for example work around peer support and strategies to address stress and exam pressure).


10.      Examine ways in which student access to school nurses could be improved.


Resolved:-  (1)  That all those involved in the Scrutiny Review be thanked for their input.


(2)  That the report and its recommendations be noted and a response be submitted within two months as outlined within the Council’s Constitution.


(3)  That the decision of Cabinet on the report, recommendations and proposed action be reported back to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board in due course.


(4)  That a meeting be arranged with the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board and the Youth Cabinet in six months’ time after this point to discuss progress.

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