Hampshire mental health service recognised at national awards ceremony

Two innovative projects in Hampshire have been praised at a prestigious national award ceremony, which recognises excellent practice in mental health services. 

Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), which is provided by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, was shortlisted in two categories at the 2018 National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards, which celebrates everything that is positive in mental health care, and champions work being done across the country to improve the care and support provided to service users, carers and families.

The ‘Bringing child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) closer to home’ project was shortlisted for the Innovation in Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services award and was recognised with a Highly Commended award.

Initially piloted in the New Forest but now available across the whole county, the project supports families whose child has been diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) to attend regular appointments for height, weight, pulse and blood pressure checks at pharmacies close to their homes, rather than travelling to CAMHS clinics which many families said they found difficult to get to during the working day.   

The project has helped to reduce the number of missed appointments, reduced clinic waiting times and allowed staff to concentrate on offering specialist mental health support rather than providing routine monitoring.  

Also awarded a Highly Commended at the awards ceremony, the Hampshire CAMHS Specialist Eating Disorders Service was shortlisted in the Community Mental Health Services for Eating Disorders category for their ‘Everybody Campaign’.

The year-long campaign raised awareness and promoted understanding of eating disorders amongst children, young people, parents, carers and health and social care professionals across Hampshire. The campaign, which has included a number of creative, innovative and inspiring projects, such as the Great Big Bunting Off, which saw young people across the county attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest string of bunting, has directly involved thousands of people and started a conversation about eating disorders, the importance of body confidence and self-esteem.

The team attended an awards ceremony at Liverpool Football Club on Thursday 11 October, and were very proud to be recognised in both categories.

Lao Cooper, Head of Service for Hampshire CAMHS, said: “I am so proud of the two teams who were nominated and have been recognised at the awards. It is a true testament to their hard work and commitment to improving mental health services for children and young people in Hampshire and helping to break the stigma that still exists around mental health.”

To find out more about Hampshire CAMHS and the services that they provide go to www.hampshirecamhs.nhs.uk. 

For more information about the Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards go to www.positivepracticemh.com.