We opened a Children and Young Person's Haven in Guildford to help improve the psychological and emotional health of young people in Surrey; providing a safe and accessible environment where young people have the opportunity for specialist CAMHS support, youth support and peer mentor input. We are now in the process of opening two further CYP Havens; one in Epsom and one in Staines. The CYP Haven provides a safe place for children and young people who are experiencing mental health issues, to simply drop in and seek support.
What We Did
We opened a Children and Young Person’s Haven in Guildford to help improve the psychological and emotional health of young people in Surrey; providing a safe and accessible environment where young people have the opportunity for specialist CAMHS support, youth support and peer mentor input. We are now in the process of opening two further CYP Havens; one in Epsom and one in Staines. The CYP Haven provides a safe place for children and young people who are experiencing mental health issues, to simply drop in and seek support.
Wider Active Support
The project is funded and supported by the Surrey CCG’ CAMHs Transformation Programme. They helped co-ordinate this and chaired a multiagency group of partners in order to agree am implement the service model. Our partners included CAMHs Youth Advisors, Surrey County Council’s Youth Support Team and the Surrey and Borders CAMH service. Representatives of these partners met regularly to agree a service model and location that best met the needs of children, young people and their families, in order to support them with mental health challenges.
The original idea of a Safe haven was taken to the local CAMHs Youth Advisor groups in order to gain their input into the type of service they wanted. Their input significantly changed the original model, resulting in a revised staffing model that include a children’s Mental Health Nurse, a Youth worker and a Children’s Rights worker. The young people also suggested a different name (The CYP Haven), designed the logo, designed the promotional leaflets, agreed the opening hours, helped buy the furniture and even decorated the rooms. Examples of the leaflets and promotional meeting can be provided and a link to the CYP Haven website has been included in the sharing section; with this containing photographs of the CYP Haven.
Looking Back/Challenges Faced
The main challenge was to set up a new and different service model that brought together a number of organisations in order to agree a service model that was genuinely shaped by what children and young people told us. This challenged the conventional view of simply providing a clinical outreach service in a clinical environment and staffed by mental health clinicians. Children and young people were telling us that they wanted a ‘safe place’ to go, where they could be ‘listened to’ and where the support was tailored to their needs. We also needed to ensure buy in from the partner organisations, forming a true tripartite agreement between the three organisations working together to meet the needs of the children, young people and their families and seamlessly linking into other existing services.
We have agreed a number of key performance measures, both quantitative and qualitative, that will enable us to evaluate and replicate this model. This enables us to quantify what would have happened to the children and young people attending the CYP Haven, had it not been there. The preliminary findings suggest that many would have attended a hospital A&E department, whilst others also mentioned the likelihood of them self-harming; copies of this work can be provided if required. Work is also underway with the CCGs to monitor hospital A&E attendance and admission in order to quantify the potential savings that this service aims to deliver. The aim and expectation is that the anticipated savings will exceed the costs and therefore funding will be made recurrent.
Evaluation (Peer or Academic)
We aim to ask all those attending to be part of the evaluation process, using a questionnaire that was designed in partnership with children and young people. Further work is also planned by way of academic evaluation, once the three CYP Havens are open and have been running for year, with the aim to also include peer evaluation between the Haven’s and involving our key partner organisations.
In addition to the work outlined in the sustainability and evaluation sections, the following are brief statements from CYP attending the CYP Haven explaining in their own words, what difference the CYP Haven has it has made to them:
“the haven is a chilled place which has helped me a lot in my struggles in my mental health”
“It’s a good place to go when I feel low.”
“Helpful and welcoming”
The following are a number of statements from parents on what difference the service made for them:
“We got immediate support for our daughter when she was in crisis. We had been trying to get help for her for 2 years.”
“The help we received at the haven was great. M felt comfortable straight away and asked to go again.”
We have shared the model widely within Surrey and at regional events within the South East of England. We have also been asked to present at national events and have been featured on local BBC news. We are also keen to share the learning elsewhere and the team would ne happy to present widely.
Is there any other information you would like to add?
Yes, the following website http://www.cyphaven.net/