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Future In Mind

Future in Mind is a national initiative from the Department of Health and NHS England. The programme has a clear ambition to transform mental health services for children, young people and their families. NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group was successful in securing funding until 2020 to deliver the programme in the locale. The programme is being jointly delivered by the CCG, Local Authority, Education, Third Sector and children, young people and their families.  Within the Future in Mind project, there is the role of the Community Navigator whose primary responsibilities is to work with in partnership with early intervention services and alongside primary practitioners to reach out and engage with vulnerable children and young people (0-19), to build rapport, to provide short term practical and emotional support and to assist the child/young person to increase their emotional well-being and resilience.

The project came about as a result of a taskforce which made a number of key recommendations in regards to the role that schools play in mental health promotion and the provision of mental health services for children and young people. There are also 5 big themes within the report:

  • Promoting resilience, prevention and early intervention
  • Improving access to effective support – a system without tiers
  • Care for the most vulnerable
  • Accountability and transparency
  • Developing the workforce

The taskforce report details the impact of problems with mental well-being in early years and highlights that for 75 per cent of adults with mental health problems these start before the age of 18. Yet we may be reaching as few as one-in-four children and young people with problems that could be helped. Thus the importance of early intervention at the earliest possible opportunity is paramount.

One of the ways the project has had a positive impact in the community thus far is by the work that has been done at Next Generation youth sessions in regards to using the Resilience Framework conversation tool to get young people to discuss their mental health and emotional well-being. By using the conversation tool, issues can be picked up on and work can be done with the young person to improve their resilience by recognising competencies that need to be improved or developed. Because the Framework is asset based, the young person is able to build upon existing skills, competencies and knowledge.

The hopes for the project moving forward is to be able to deliver an integrated and holistic service for young people in a timely and efficient manner. This includes Community Navigators working in conjunction with Primary Practitioners and Kooth counsellors in the schools of their local area and also by engaging within the VCS sector.

The Community Navigator for Wakefield Central is Sajid Hussain. He is based with Next Generation and his contact details are [email protected] or 07528 050500.