• Fri. May 24th, 2024

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Young people in South Tyneside are being invited to attend a ‘Question Time’ style event next month where they can put questions to local health and social care chiefs.

The interactive event is being held from 2pm to 4pm on May 15th at South Tyneside College in South Shields.

Schools and colleges across the borough are being invited to attend and their students will be able to ask a panel of experts who can influence decisions on local health and social care services questions about issues that matter to them, including young people’s mental health.

The ‘Manage Your Mental Health’ event follows a survey launched last month to find out how young people rate mental health services in the borough. The online questionnaire is being carried out by Young Healthwatch, a new group set up by
health and social care consumer champion Healthwatch South Tyneside.

Called #manageyourmentalhealth, it asks a series of short questions including who you go to if you have emotional problems, if you have used mental health services in the borough, and if so how they could be improved.

Healthwatch hopes the research will help local authority and NHS leaders in the borough design future mental health services for young people.

The questionnaire is being circulated to schools and colleges in the borough and being widely promoted on social media.

Both the survey and question time event are the brainchild of Young Healthwatch. Launched last November, it is a group of young people aged between 17 and 22  who meet regularly and help Healthwatch staff design and carry out promotional
activities to engage other young people and encourage them to talk about their own experiences – both good and bad.

Feedback will be shared with decision makers from the NHS and local authority organisations who run local health and social care services to highlight both good practice and issues raised – to influence positive changes which will benefit young
people.

Young Healthwatch member Charlotte Keedy, 22, of South Shields, said: “Mental health is one of the key issues affecting young people and for those affected, access to support, information and guidance should be readily accessible in the
borough.

“I would urge young people to complete the survey and attend the event at South Tyneside College, to give the decision makers as much feedback as possible on how they rate current mental health services. This is just the first initiative by Young
Healthwatch to help other young people understand what health services are out there, and find out about their experiences.”

Alison Maynard, Deputy Chief Executive of Tyne Coast College, added: “We are delighted to be working with Young Healthwatch South Tyneside for the Mental Health Question Time event. The mental and emotional wellbeing of young people is a real issue within society and we, as a college, are working hard to change this. We encourage our students to speak out and voice their concerns so we can offer the support and guidance they need, and this event is a fantastic idea to help make this happen.”

The#manageyourmentalhealth survey can be found at surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LS3T987 or by scanning the QR code here:

  • Schools, colleges and young people wanting to
    attend the ‘Manage Your Mental Health’ event next month should contact info@healthwatchsouthtyneside.co.uk or message
    via the Healthwatch South Tyneside Facebook page or call (0191) 489 7952.

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