During the summer the Richmond and Kingston Youth Councils worked with Achieving for Children and Healthwatch to find out about emotional wellbeing, the support that young people need and what services they would want to access if they could. We collected the experiences of 1,580 children and young people.
The report found that local young people who access helpful services report levels of emotional wellbeing on a par with those who have never needed to seek help. There was also strong support - among many of the 1,580 young people surveyed for the report - for better emotional wellbeing services inside and outside school and useful online advice.
But according to the report, many young people are put off accessing emotional wellbeing services because of the significant stigma around doing so. Their comments included that ‘the topic [of mental health] has a stigma to it and lots of people our age struggle to tell people about their state of mind’.
A number of young people also highlighted concerns around where care is provided and the ability of staff to connect with the person they were talking to. Long waiting lists remain an issue.
The report makes a number of strong recommendations for change in these areas. It also states that commissioners and providers must improve accessibility for those whose sexuality, gender or ethnicity make them less likely to access care.