New ‘one stop shop’ online mental health platform launched

3 June 2021

A new online resource has been launched to help children, young people, parents and professionals to make referrals into partnership mental health services in Liverpool and Sefton.

A new online resource has been launched to help children, young people, parents and professionals to make referrals into partnership mental health services in Liverpool and Sefton.

The new platform, available on the Liverpool CAMHS and Sefton CAMHS websites, allows just one referral form linking a wide range of mental health services across Liverpool and Sefton, who work in partnership together.

Previously, the referral process has been long, complicated and difficult to navigate. It is the first-time mental health services have been integrated in this way in the UK.

Alder Hey’s innovation team have worked closely with service users; children and young people & their families and mental health providers to develop the Sefton and Liverpool CAMHS platform that makes accessing the right mental health services much easier.

Lisa Cooper, Director of Community and Mental Health Services at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said:

“7 in 10 children and young people who experience mental health conditions in the UK have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age. Part of the problem can be knowing what is available and accessibility. The new digital platform makes the process so much easier to self-refer and also gives children and young people online support before they see a clinician.
Mental health is just as important as physical health and this past year has had a huge impact on our children and young people. We’ve seen more than double the amount of crisis cases than the previous year. I’m thrilled that with this new platform we are pioneering the future for digitising healthcare and helping some of our most vulnerable children and young people get the help they so desperately need and deserve.”

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is a collection of NHS and voluntary sector organisations that provide a range of mental health support for children, young people and their families. As well as offering information, advice and guidance, assessment, diagnosis, treatment and intervention for young people who are experiencing problems with their emotions, behaviour or mental health, these partners also promote ways to develop positive mental health, including building resilience and training. This support covers a range of mental health difficulties including depression, eating disorders, self-harm, abuse, violence or anger, bi-polar, schizophrenia and anxiety among many other difficulties.

Jack Morton, Innovation Consultant and project lead at Alder Hey said,

“Throughout the process of designing and building this web-based platform, we utilised user-centred design processes to understand the needs of the children and families when trying to access and get help from our mental health services across the region. It took a collaborative approach, involving many of our partner organisations, to address the whole user experience and create something that we truly believe will be extremely beneficial to those who are looking for mental health support.

Lisa Nolan, Programme Manager for children and young people’s mental health at Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:

“This is an exciting development which will improve access to mental health support for the population of children and young people and their families.  A true example of co-production and collaboration between the CAMHS Partnerships across Liverpool and Sefton, Alder Hey Innovation team, CCG’s, digital partners and Children, Young People and Families. This digital development will ensure quicker access to information, advice, resources and support for Children and Young People across both Liverpool and Sefton.”

Wendy Hewitt, Children and Safeguarding Lead for NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG said:

“This is a fantastic new development which will enable GPs and other professionals across Sefton and Liverpool to better support children and young people with mental health conditions. As everything is in one place, we will be able to access and share health information more easily, and quickly refer those children and young people needing mental health support.”

If you are from Sefton you can access the platform here

If you are from Liverpool you can access the platform here

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