Steve McCabe MP praises new Forward Thinking Birmingham mental health services for young people

Steve McCabe MP has welcomed Forward Thinking Birmingham, the new mental health services for 0-25s in the city, which have been designed by young people, for young people.

Steve met with staff and young people at Pause, based in Digbeth, an exciting new drop-in service at the heart of the city centre for any young person facing mental health difficulties. Pause was commissioned by the NHS as part of Forward Thinking Birmingham. This service is the first of its kind anywhere in the country and was designed to focus on the individual needs of young people suffering from mental health issues.

Steve heard from 18-year-old Erin who helped to choose the name ‘Pause’. She explained that they wanted the name to reflect the space, which offers a sanctuary for young people to take some time out. The idea is that young people can just ‘pause’ in a place away from the pressures of life, whether they be family, friends, school or other worries.

19-year-old Jaspreet was another one of the young people Steve met.  Jaspreet helped to design the centre and handpick the staff, and she continues to work with Forward Thinking Birmingham to shape the future of children, young people and young adults’ mental health services, which now see all 0-25s in Birmingham seen by one provider, avoiding the need to transition to adult services at 16 years old.

Forward Thinking Birmingham is made up of five partners: Birmingham Children’s Hospital (lead partner), Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, Beacon UK, The Children’s Society and Priory Group. The service went live on 1 April 2016 and offers a number of new elements, including Pause.

There is also a 24 hour crisis support line (0300 300 0099), support groups for parents and families of those affected by mental health issues and even more to come. The service is designed around five key principles of access, prevention, early intervention, choice and joined up care, and aims to make Birmingham the first city where mental health problems are not a barrier to children, young people and young adults achieving their potential.

Steve McCabe MP said:

“I was really impressed with Forward Thinking Birmingham and Pause because the staff and young people involved are genuinely committed to improving mental health services in Birmingham. I think that the traditional model of mental health support for young people is outdated as there are constant changing social pressures on young people which is why this service is needed in the city.

“What really impressed me was the fact that young people have been and continue to be a part of designing the mental health services provided by Forward Thinking Birmingham. I don’t think there is anyone else better placed to know what young people need from mental health services than young people themselves. I’m proud that Birmingham is the first city to pioneer this approach to mental health services for young people and I look forward to seeing Forward Thinking Birmingham grow.”

For more information please visit www.forwardthinkingbirmingham.org.uk

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