Clinicians, mental health services and young people alike have all advocated passionately for improved transitions between services, which resulted in the Scottish Government committing to this work under Action 21 of the Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027.
At the invitation of the Scottish Government and CAMHS in Edinburgh, the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) has been working with some Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) and a group of young volunteers to develop a Transition Care Plan (TCP), which will help children and young people to plan and navigate their transition from CAMHS to adult mental health services.
Using a human rights-based approach, the plan puts young people’s voices at the heart of this transition by enabling them to have their say and communicate vital information on areas such as their wellbeing, lifestyle, current treatment, and knowledge of the transition.
This unique resource will aid young people and clinicians in creating a smoother transition in what can be a difficult process and, as a result, improve the quality of treatment they receive.
Minister for Mental Health, Clare Haughey MSP (centre) with members of the Scottish Youth Parliament's 'Bridge the Gap' group pictured at the launch of the TCP on Wednesday 29th August in Edinburgh.
Speaking at the launch of the TCP in Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh, on Wednesday 29th August, Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey MSP said: "Young people have told us that a transition between CAMHS and adult mental health services can be a difficult time.
“To help make this transition as seamless as possible, these plans have been co-produced and co-designed entirely by young people and clinicians themselves. I’d like to congratulate everyone involved for a truly ground-breaking piece of work, which is particularly fitting given that 2018 is the Year of Young People.
“I want this to become consistent practice for all young people transitioning from CAMHS to adult services, and my expectation is that Health Boards across Scotland will use the Transition Care Plans as standard.”
Robbie Burgess MSYP, a member of SYP's 'Bridge the Gap' group of young volunteers, said: “Change can be incredibly difficult for anyone - of any age - let alone a young person struggling with their mental health. It’s so important that the transition from CAMHS to adult mental health services is as seamless as possible, and the creation of the TCP will go a long way in enabling that to happen.
“At SYP, we’ve seen first-hand through our campaign on young people’s mental health, Speak Your Mind, just how serious a problem this is. We’re grateful to both the Scottish Government and clinicians from NHS Scotland for putting young people at the centre of this project. In this, the Year of Young People, it’s important now more than ever that Scotland’s young people are best supported to achieve their full potential.”