The event also gave NHS South West London’s local engagement team the opportunity to gather the thoughts and experiences of attendees around how healthcare services are currently delivered. These will be used in the development of a Joint Forward Plan which will cover how we and our partner trusts intend to arrange and provide NHS services to meet the needs of everyone in South West London over the next five years.
Young people came from more than 20 schools across Richmond and Kingston for the Beautiful Minds event on the 16 and 17 of May, with the first day aimed at key stage 2 and the second day at those in key stages 3, 4 and 5. The event provided young people with access to local mental health support and wellbeing activities, which included a football tournament, skateboard lessons, a street dance workshop, wall climbing, and an intro into music production workshop. Local support services, Richmond Mind, Off the Record and Free2Be, ran wellbeing activity workshops and stalls and spoke to many of the young people who attended. Peer mental health ambassadors from the Kingston and Richmond Youth Council were also around on the day to offer support to other students.
The young people were also excited to share their views knowing that they could make a difference to the future of the care they and their peers will receive.”Alex Quennell, Participation Officer for Kingston, and Richmond Youth Council
When asked for their views, many young people felt there is no longer a stigma around mental health but many said they didn’t know where to go to access support other than school or their GP. Some young people did say more could be done to educate older generations who do not seem to understand as much about these types of issues and many agreed that the use of social media can make mental health issues worse. They also shared that they would prefer services to be delivered face to face and waiting times are a worry for young people themselves as well as those who work with them.
Alex Quennell, Participation Officer for Kingston, and Richmond Youth Council, said: “I am over the moon with how both days of the event went. We had a brilliant turn out of young people from across the borough. It was fantastic to see the hard work the Kingston and Richmond Youth Council put in pay off, from inviting the organisations to run workshops and stalls to designing the flyers to advertise the event. The young people were also excited to share their views knowing that they could make a difference to the future of the care they and their peers will receive.”
Jo Farrar, Executive Lead for Place, said: “It is vitally important that the views and experiences of local people are listened to when planning how services will be delivered going forward. I’m really glad to hear that this event was such a success and that we have been able to capture how services work and how they could be improved for the next generation in Kingston and Richmond.”Mental health support and advice for children and young people