A new service which will enhance mental health support for children and young people under 18 has been launched in Bradford.
Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust has been working in partnership with Creative Support and Bradford Metropolitan District Council to create the new safer space project. The space, which can be accessed through the Trust's mental health crisis support service - First Response - will help to identify crisis triggers for emotional distress and crisis and preventing future crisis from escalating.
The pilot programme is the first of its kind in West Yokshire, with plans in the pipeline to to roll out the model across the region. During the pilot stage the safer space will provide a one night stay for up to two to three young people, with the aim to expand the service to accomodate up to five young people.
Kelly Barker, nurse and service manager has been working on the development of the safer space project alongside colleagues across all agencies and services working with children and young people.
'Safer space offers opportunities for young people and families to reach out for support at a much earlier point, knowing there’s a pathway and options around having their distress and crisis effectively managed. This will hopefully see young people access help much earlier and avoid their distress escalating to a level that may see them presenting in A&E,' she said.
The service will be available seven days a week and 365 days a year. Young people in crisis, their families and health or care workers can ring, the Care Trust's First Response Service for help from trained staff who can carry out a suitability assessment for referral to the new service. It is hoped that the space will further reduce the number of young people presenting at A&E where more appropriate support is available.
'Professionals working with young people now have a clearer pathway to support, giving them confidence and options around crisis management, added Ms Barker.
'We ultimately as a partnership want to improve the experience and outcomes of young people in distress and acknowledge the need to work collaboratively to meet the needs of our young people; promoting their own skills in being resilient and managing their distress in the future.'