Take Over Day 2014

The Children’s Commissioner’s Take Over Day 2014 was a huge success for CWP CAMHS. Young people from Cheshire East, Cheshire West, Wirral and Tier 4 spent the morning completing various different activities .  In the afternoon, young people from across the Trust met with CWP Trust Board (including chief executive Sheena Cumiskey) to raise issues important to them.  The following are blogs from Wirral and East Cheshire about their experiences of the day.

Wirral “The CAMHS Apprentice”

Wirral CAMHS ran ‘The CAMHS Apprentice’, a fun, interactive workshop that aimed to allow young people to make decisions about their CAMHS service. These activities allowed the young people to design their perfect CAMHS worker, to design a child’s journey through CAMHS and to discuss their ideas about where they feel money from a CAMHS budget is spent.

The first activity, led by Matt Howie (mental health support worker), involved the young people designing their perfect CAMHS worker. They designed a worker that had characteristics of warmth, smart and patient, but also that professionally they were able to understand and connect with the young person, able to create a friendly and informal environment and to promote EQUALITY and VALUE between clinician and client.

The second activity, led by Rachel Pulham (assistant psychologist), involved designing a child’s journey through CAMHS.  The young people created a girl called ‘Megan’, who was having trouble with her mood. The main theme the young people prioritised was that of CHOICE.

They decided that it would be good to have an Ice Breaker session before Megan received any therapy. The session would take 10-15 minutes and this would be for the clinician and Megan to get to know each other – EQUALITY.  After this Megan would meet with her clinical 2-3 times and then would access an appropriate group with other children and young people with similar problems. The young people pointed out that Megan should have a choice about venue, times and dates, but also a choice about clinician, whether to attend group work or continue 1-1, and their discharge.

The third activity, led by Rebecca Moon (assistant psychologist), involved the children running the ‘Bank of CAMHS’; they were given a budget and asked to place money on CAMHS resources, such as staff, activities, and groups. The children placed monetary importance on more support workers, more activities and RESOURCES, and less emphasis on buildings. Also, the young people placed importance on more involvement workers, specifically with regards to children and young people involved in the service being involved in the training of staff.

The CAMHS apprentice differed in terms of the BBC One ‘The Apprentice’ as all ideas where welcome and no one was fired! All the ideas raised were to be raised by the young people at the CWP trust board, chaired by CWP Chief Executive, Sheena Cumiskey.

Rachel Pulham (assistant psychologist Wirral)

Cheshire East CAMHS

Friday 21st November was national takeover day and as a Young Advisor for CWP I wanted to tell you what happened on the day. Myself and two other young people met in the morning over at Elm house in Macclesfield.

We went over to the East Cheshire Clinical commissioning group (CCG) to present to them our animation we had created during the October half term in CAMHS and launch the Young Advisors video. I didn’t think that there would be as many people as there was so we were pleasantly surprised! The feedback we got was extremely positive and I feel that the impact that the videos have made is very good especially for professionals as they are resources created by young people who use the services they provide.

After we had finished at Macclesfield hospital we travelled over to Chester and arrived at the trust board (after getting lost!!). The afternoon was a chance for two young people for each locality (East, West, Wirral and inpatient) and senior CWP staff to meet up and discuss matters of importance.

Sheena the chief executive and Andy Styring director of operations were present at the meeting and we each got to raise two agenda items to discuss. From East we chose ‘out of hours and crisis support’ and ‘what we have got from involvement.’ Both points were discussed and shared within the group along with the other area’s items. After the meeting I think we all felt that we had come a long way since meeting the year before and there was a great sense of pride and achievement in the room.

We have agreed to meet again next takeover day to discuss where we are at and areas for development. In the meantime however there is a plan for a meeting with A+E and Police staff to take place with the aim of talking to them about dealing with young people that may present to their service with mental health issues.

To sum the day up I would say that young people’s voices were not only heard but they were listened to!

Bella (young advisor and member of CAMHS Crew)

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