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Guide: Commissioning mental health services

Guide: Commissioning mental health services


A new guide to commissioning mental health services for young people has been released by the Mental Health Foundation. 

The document, third in a set of "How to" guides released by the charity, focuses on supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people aged 16 to 25. 

The guide provides practical recommendations drawn from young people's own experiences and on learning and experiences from a five-year programme run by the Mental Health Foundation and Paul Hamlyn Foundations at four sites across the UK. 

Right Here was a a £6 million initiative designed to change how mental health for young people is delivered. 

The projects were jointly designed and delivered by young people, youth workers and mental health professionals. 

How to commission better mental health and wellbeing services for young people lays out four stages of developing quality mental health services for young people, as well as a section on how to tell whether it's working. 

David Goodban, head of the Children and Young People’s Programme at the Mental Health Foundation said: “It is now more important than ever to ensure that the wishes of young people are respected and the services that are commissioned are designed with these at their core. The Mental Health Foundation supports the involvement of young people and working with them as leaders in co-production of services fit for the 21st century.”

Susan Blishen, manager of the Right Here programme, said: “This guide brings together the learning and experience from four years of youth-led, innovations in early mental health and wellbeing support for young people, aged 16 – 25.  We urge commissioners to draw on the lessons we have learned about how to involve young people well, and the benefits of doing so, so that young people can at last get the support they need, and we end the “cliff-edge of lost support as children with mental health needs reach the age of 18." 

Adolescence and early adulthood are peak risk times for the onset of mental health problems.

The guide is available on the Mental Health Foundation website.


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