Leeds based website supporting children and young people’s mental health celebrates its fifth birthday

Photo call opportunity: Merrion Street Gardens, Merrion Street, Leeds, LS2 8JE (near to the St John’s Centre) on Thursday 13 June at 12.30pm

MindMate, a website (www.mindmate.org.uk) that provides mental health and emotional wellbeing advice and information for children and young people across Leeds, will be celebrating its fifth birthday during June.

Since its launch, MindMate has expanded to include dedicated young people ambassadors, the establishment of a MindMate school support and training programme, and the setting up a dedicated single referral point for healthcare professionals and service users.

Dr Jane Mischenko, Commissioning Lead for Children and Maternity Services at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Across the city partners are committed to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in Leeds. The MindMate website has been developed with children and young people from the start. The success of the MindMate website and programme of work is built from this ethos of partners working with children and young people in the city. Our key partners are Leeds City Council, local voluntary and charitable organisations, and Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve done together, whilst recognising there is more we want to do. Some of our key achievements include employing the MindMate Ambassadors, who have an important role in the success of the MindMate website. The ambassadors are a group of young people who have a real passion in improving mental health support for children and young people in Leeds. We have a total of eight ambassadors, who promote the MindMate website, working with young people in the city to continue developing the website.

“Another one of our achievements has been the launch of the MindMate Single Point Access (SPA). This provides a single referral point for professionals, for children and young people who need support with their emotional wellbeing or mental health. From 1 October 2018, young people (13-17 years) or parents and carers of children (5-17 years) were able to talk directly to the SPA team. To add to this, we’ve recently launched Teen Connect in 2018 which is a dedicated support line for children and young people experiencing a mental health crisis.

“Looking ahead we have a number of key ambitions to continue improving mental health and wellbeing of children and young people across the city. This includes the delivery of our city-centre young person’s social, emotional and mental health service. We’re also looking to develop and implement our mental health crisis provision, and to continue to enhance and support the response to trauma for children and young people in Leeds.”

Councillor Fiona Venner, Executive Member for Children and Families at Leeds City Council, said: “In Leeds, we’ve been working really hard to continue improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. MindMate is a fantastic resource, developed with children and young people, which enables them to access support when they need it, locally and nationally, and promotes positive mental health.

“I am delighted that our MindMate Champions programme, which has a focus on promoting positive mental health and healthy minds, has the support of 269 primary and secondary schools, and all children’s centres in Leeds, who have signed up to the programme.

“Through MindMate, we have a valuable opportunity to work with partners across the city, including a variety of Third Sector organisations, to promote the great work we are doing to support young people’s mental health and really make a difference to the lives of children and young people in Leeds. I am thrilled that MindMate will be celebrating five successful years this June, and am looking forward to seeing this vital work continue to help drive forward our ambition for Leeds to be the best city for children and young people to grow up in.”

Rachael Campey, MindMate Ambassador, said: “I became a MindMate Ambassador because I have a real passion for children and young people’s mental health from my own personal experience of mental health.

“I’ve been an ambassador for MindMate for two years and during that time I’ve seen a number of changes to improve children’s and young people’s mental health. The website is continuously being reviewed by professionals and young people, and as ambassadors we’re able to suggest content as we work with children and young people to ensure the content is relevant.

“I feel that Leeds has a lot to offer if a child or a young person is struggling with their emotional and mental wellbeing; they can go to the MindMate website which has stories from young people about their mental health and what helped them. It also has blogs from children and young people on a number of topics; this includes stress, being a young parent, young carers and social media.”

Anyone can log on to MindMate to get the advice and support they need to manage their emotional wellbeing or support others www.mindmate.org.uk

ENDS

Notes to editors

About MindMate

MindMate is a dedicated mental health and emotional wellbeing website (https://www.mindmate.org.uk/) in Leeds for children and young people, parents and professionals who work with young people.

The website has been developed by NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as part of the ‘Future in Mind: Leeds’ strategy to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people across the city.

Find out more about the Future in Mind Strategy by visiting https://www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/publications/future-in-mind-leeds-local-transformational-plan-2016-2020/

Success of MindMate

Key achievements that we would like to share on social media:

  • The MindMate website has been successfully running for five years and has been co-produced with children, young people, parents / carers and professionals. It’s a dedicated mental health and emotional wellbeing website for children and young people
  • We have eight young MindMate Ambassadors who raise the awareness of MindMate by attending various local and national events, and supporting us in service design for young people
  • 269 out of 276 primary and secondary schools and all children’s centres are signed up to the MindMate Champions programme, which looks at positive mental health
  • The launch of Teen Connect in June 2018 which is a dedicated support line for children and young people experiencing mental health crisis
  • The launch of MindMate Single Point Access (SPA) in 2016. This provides a single referral point for professionals, for children and young people who need support with their emotional wellbeing or mental health. From 1 October 2018, young people (13-17 years) or parents and carers of children (5-17 years) were able to talk directly to the SPA team.

For media enquiries please contact:

Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively please email us: leedsccg.comms@nhs.net