10 May 2021
The Government of Jersey has published a draft four-year Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategy, designed to radically overhaul and improve mental health outcomes for children and young people.
Islanders are being asked to share their views and get involved in the draft strategy, which has been published today (Monday, 10 May) to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May).
Based on recent international prevalence data, it is estimated that 1 in 6 children, aged five to sixteen years old and 1 in 5 seventeen to twenty-two year olds, in Jersey, are likely to have a mental health disorder.
Recently, we have seen an increase in both demand for mental health services and and complexity of need, which we believe to be exacerbated by the pandemic. There has been an increase in referrals to both the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and the Youth Enquiry Service (YES). Since its launch in December, more than 400 13-25 year olds have also signed up to online counselling and support via Kooth.com.
Redesigning children and young people's emotional wellbeing and mental health has been recognised as an immediate priority for the Government of Jersey through the Government Plan 2021-2024.
The draft Children and Young People Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategy has been co-produced with children, young people, parents, carers, and professionals.
The vision is for all children and young people in Jersey to be happy and thriving and to able to enjoy the best mental health and wellbeing. It sets out 16 actions to take forward significant strategic and operational change over the next four years.
Assistant Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Trevor Pointon, who has responsibility for CAMHS, said: "Mental ill health is a significant challenge in Jersey. Too many children and young people struggle with their wellbeing and mental health and they often report finding it difficult to get the help and support they need, when they need it.
"This last year, through the pandemic, has been particularly challenging and we can expect that this will contribute further to children and young people's mental health needs.
"It is therefore more important, than ever, that we consider what we want our children and young people's mental health services to look like in the future, based on evidence of best practice. We must take the opportunity to build high quality services, improving and transforming current arrangements."
There is now a specific commitment and investment, from the Government, to develop children and young people's mental health services in Jersey. As part of the Government Plan, indicative investment of £6 million over three years 2022-2024 has been agreed with £2.25 million recurring from 2025 onwards. This investment is in addition to existing budgeted expenditure.
Deputy Pointon added: "I would like to thank all those who have been involved in developing this draft strategy. Your voice, your experience, your expertise, and your input have been instrumental in getting us to this point. I would also encourage everyone to read the strategy, share their views and get involved in the new Strategic Advisory Panel to support the Government in implementing this strategy."
This news release is part of a series marking Mental Health Awareness week, and highlighting the support available. The government is committed to improving Islanders' wellbeing and mental and physical health. For more information, on the support available, visit www.gov.je/health/mental/Pages/index.aspx
Draft Strategy: www.gov.je/CYPMentalHealth
For support: log onto the Mental Health Network on gov.je