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Gloucestershire CCG launches mental health support finder for young people

14/04/22

Mark Say Managing Editor

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Silhouette of depressed young man
Image source: istock.com/KatarzinaBialasiewicz

NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group has launched a digital support finder to provide ‘a single front door’ for young people’s mental health services.

It has developed the tool with service design specialist Mace & Menter and tech company Made Tech.

The support finder guides people through a series of questions to understand how they are feeling and what support might be needed. Users are then signposted to the most relevant service for their needs and given useful support information about mental health.

The results are available to young people, their parents and carers via the website and SMS, which is said to make it accessible and secure for any child or young person to use, regardless of their access to a computer.

The baseline architecture and codebase was developed under open standards principles and is available to other NHS trusts to use for free.

Research and prototyping

The project first involved exploratory research with the local community and school groups, then rounds of user research and prototype testing to establish the range of user needs. For example, the CCG relied on practitioners and trusted adults to provide signposting to mental health support, while alternative ways of finding appropriate support were less clear.

User feedback was taken into account throughout development.

Helen Ford, programme director for integrated commissioning at NHS Gloucestershire CCG, said: “Young people often find asking for help with mental health difficult. Our new resource acts as a virtual helping hand to guide people to the right support.

“The support finder allows children and young people to make informed choices about the services they use. While we developed the resource with young people in mind, we expect a range of professionals, parents and carers to use it too.”

The service is now live at https://www.onyourmindglos.nhs.uk/.

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