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New project aims to improve mental health of children in care

New project aims to improve mental health of children in care

Published at 7:03am 22nd February 2019.

North Yorkshire has been chosen to pilot a new mental health scheme for looked after young people. 

  • The project aims to improve the way young people's mental health needs are met as they enter care
  • The central Government funding's been awarded to North Yorkshire County Council 
  • It's one of nine local authorities in the UK to receive a share of £650,000
  • It hopes to get children the mental health support they need sooner

The pilot project will run for two years and will aim to ensure children entering care are assessed at the right time, by the right people. 

The council says it'll also look to reduce the number of appointments children attend with multiple professionals. 

The news has been welcomed by 22-year-old Shannon Downing, who was recently made chair of the Young People's Council, a youth voice group for those who have experienced care in North Yorkshire.

Shannon was in care between the ages of 12 and 16, and is involved in the project.

She said: 

"The main thing is having a person who stays with you throughout.

"Having lots of different faces can be quite distressing for some people, especially if they have anxiety or different mental health issues.

"The other important issue is getting the right support for each individual; getting them on the right track and making them feel happier."


nycc mental health care project
From left, Vicky Metheringham, North Yorkshire County Council’s head of Looked After Children, Lydia Bailey, vice chair of Young People’s Council (YPC), Shannon Downing, chair of YPC and Dr Clare Snodgrass, consultant clinical psychologist with PIPA / Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust

Cllr Janet Sanderson, Executive Member for the Children and Young People's Service said:

"We listened to young people when they asked us to help support their mental health needs.

"Being part of this project is a great opportunity to ensure each child gets help that is right for them, at the right time. As we roll out this pilot, we will continue to listen to young people every step of the way."