Katie's Diary

Too many children let down by inadequate mental health provision by Dorothy Jarvis-Lee

18th July 2014

TEENAGERS with mental health problems are among the most vulnerable patients under pressure services trying to cope with a system that is inadequately resourced and lacks capacity.

All teenagers are vulnerable as they grow into adulthood and struggle to cope with body, hormone, mind and lifestyle issues, add to that exam pressures, relationships and it’s no wonder that the incidences of young people presenting metal health issues are soaring.

Around ten per cent of all children aged between five and 16 are diagnosed with some form of mental health condition but the NHS capacity to treat them has not met the demand and the Government has admitted that the service is too fragmented.

To make matters worse many young people face journeys in excess of 100 miles for treatment but commissioners who pay for treatment locally say there is an acute shortage of beds for young people.

The question isn’t; “where do we find the money for more beds?”  but; “how do we embrace a better, more workable solution that helps vulnerable people at a time when they need support rather than shunting from pillar to post every five minutes?”

Complaining about a lack of resources isn’t the answer but assessing how we can best spend what we have got is.Hospitalisation is expensive and when you are sending patients more than 100 miles for treatment potentially can do more harm than good.  A more progressive solution is uStep.

Since we started the evolution of the uStep model 30 years ago we have helped countless individuals improve their lives.Even the most complex individuals have changed within weeks as our personalized approach makes them central to their own support and they flourish as they work towards independence and achieving their own goals.  

We’re really excited about our most recent opening in the North West.  Ayla has just moved into her own home for the first time and has set out clear ambitions to start her own workshop designing art and sculpture.  She told us she sees uStep as a springboard to building her confidence to do the usual things young people want to do.

That is how support should be, a springboard that enables people to carve their own way in society at the heart of the community they want to be in.  A hospital bed is both constricting and costly.  It averages £1,500 per week per patient with some as expensive as £6,000 per person per week.

“Norman Lamb visited one of our uStep supports in Leeds earlier this year and has spoken about how impressed he was. He recognizes the value to the people we serve and also society, it is time that more policy makers, like him, visited us to see how effective we could be at tackling real health issues and benefitting society.”

To find out more about ubu follow us on twitter @ubusupport or @katiescalendar

Too many children let down by inadequate mental health provision by Dorothy Jarvis-Lee

 I decide what matters to me. ubu help and teach me to make my future happen 

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