The Alton Buckle
This week Havant and East Hants (HEH) Mind presented the findings of its local research into mental health needs in Alton and surrounding area to the very dynamic Alton Buckle professional’s forum. The research was welcomed by the forum where the group resoundingly backed new proposals to tackle many of the issues raised. HEH Mind has relocated to the Bushy Leaze Children & Families Centre in line with its aspirations to tackle ingrained cycles of poor mental health.
The Bad News
These ingrained cycles see poor mental health present in all age groups- passed down from parents -having a long term impact on their children’s outcome and self-esteem. It can affect relationships and confidence leading to poor performance and poor attendance at school. It also means children in their teens are poorly equipped and lack resilience in the world of work. The overall poor emotional health of young adults means the cycle begins once more when they become parents.
The Good News
But the report also revealed good news in the evidence based approaches to break these ingrained cycles, protective factors for families and a huge offer of local resources to support families in the round. The Mind and Alton Buckle members have begun working together simultaneously & innovatively to support and promote good mental health and wellbeing in young children, teens & young parents, grandparents and wider family and community members. They are looking at support in schools, colleges, in family settings and in adult settings that are welcoming and less stigmatizing.
Conducting detailed surveys of professional’s perceptions of need and gaps in service provision between November 2015 and January 2016 Mind gathered data and intelligence from head teachers, health visitors, school nurses, family centre staff, third sector organisations, children’s mental health services and local authority staff. They also consulted many more besides from all sectors working with children and family organisations & those supporting health (physical and mental) in this area.
The result is a document published later this month demonstrating the findings and showing HEH Mind and other organisations could focus limited resources for maximum impact in 2016 & beyond- some of which are already underway