Mental health services scrutinised

YOUNG people in Exmouth who rely on county mental health services are being asked to rate how good it is.

YOUNG people in Exmouth who rely on county mental health services are being asked to rate how good it is.

Users of Devon's Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are being asked for feedback, as part of a major review.

The review will investigate whether young people and their families' needs are being met.

It will also look at how the transition from children's to adults' mental health services is handled.

Nationally, 10 per cent of five to 16 year-olds have a mental disorder which causes them "considerable distress and substantial interference with personal functions."

Most disorders are emotional, conduct or 'hyperkinetic disorders' while one per cent have less common conditions such as eating disorders.

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Mental health disorders are more common in older than younger children, and more boys than girls suffer them- and many of these conditions continue into adult life.

The Task Group is inviting service users, parents and carers, practitioners and school staff to share their experiences.

Councillor Vanessa Newcombe, Chairman of the Task Group, said: "We are asking for people's views - good or bad - of the service. These will enable us to identify gaps in provision and establish whether there is equality across the whole of the County, in terms of mental health provision.

"This is an opportunity for people to tell us what they think of the service they have experienced, and enable us to identify how the service could be improved.

"Public consultation is a vital part of this process, and any responses from service users will feed into the recommendations made in our report to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and ultimately the Council's Executive."

Devon County Councillor John Smith, Executive Member for Children and Young People's Services, said: "We are building a very strong partnership with all our partners that provide services for children in Devon, and it is vital that we are all working in a cohesive way to improve their lives.

"This consultation will help shape the final recommendations that will be considered by the Executive in due course, so it is important that everyone who uses the service takes this opportunity to have their say."