Last month, around 80 representatives from education, voluntary and community sectors, local authorities, the NHS, as well as young people, came together for the 2023 Sussex Youth Summit.
The Youth Summit was supported by Sussex Health and Care; Health Innovation Kent Surrey Sussex; National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS); and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was held to further consider how young people's mental health services can be improved.
The day included sessions on: how to make the best use of collective resources by working together in partnership; briefing colleagues on current plans for young people aged 16-25 years and how they fit with the wider Sussex mental health and wellbeing policies; and how to research evidence can help provide the right support for young people - from prevention early on, right through to adulthood. During the Summit, all partners gave commitments to support preventative and proactive mental health and emotional wellbeing support for young people aged 16-25 years in Sussex.
Becca Randell, ARC KSS and Health Innovation KSS Implementation Lead for Children and Young People's Mental Health, said:
"We know that seventy-five per cent of all first instances of mental health conditions happen before someone is 21 years old – but we know young people are the least likely to access services.
"For the second year running, we have been working together across Sussex to design a 'whole system approach' to the mental health and emotional wellbeing pathway of care for young people aged 16-25, to identify how we can make better use of collective resources and consider research evidence around prevention to improve outcomes for 16-25-year-olds.”
"The work focuses on improving transitions, early intervention and prevention, with evidence-based initiatives."