The Partnership Group
Health and well-being
supporting the health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people
Health and Wellbeing is one of the key areas of Medway Children’s Trust and is overseen by the Health and Wellbeing partnership board. This group includes all key stakeholders in Medway including children’s services, health services, voluntary organisations and the police that are working to highlight the importance of health and wellbeing, and where necessary provide advice, support and treatment to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people in Medway.
Children who experience negative parenting, poor-quality relationships and other adversity in early life are at particular risk of mental health problems. Good parent-child or carer-child relationships promote emotional, social and cognitive development, emotional resilience and healthy lifestyles. This is particularly important because half of lifetime mental health problems have already developed by the age of 14.
All children and young people have their ups and downs as they are growing up but with support from family and friends and others around them most cope well enough. Sometimes however things can get on top of young people and they can become depressed, withdrawn, isolated, find it difficult to concentrate at school, eating and sleeping may become affected and they may misuse drugs and alcohol.
Young people may want to get some advice about a problem or talk to somebody like a counsellor. This may be in school or at a youth centre or somewhere the young person feels comfortable. Sometimes if problems are more serious they may need to see a doctor or another specialist in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) or in more specialist services like substance misuse services and occasionally they may need to spend some time in hospital for treatment.
Support on preventing mental ill health is also provided by Medway’s Health Improvement Team, whose main objective is to help local people make healthy choices.
The team works with individuals, businesses and the community as a whole to help us understand what health improvement services are needed and how best to deliver them - be it in a community venue, a workplace setting or through one-to-one activities and visits.
A range of local, tailored services and initiatives are designed to improve the health and wellbeing of local people;
- alcohol, drug and tobacco control strategies;
- contraceptives and sexual health;
- health trainers;
- healthy weight;
- MEND, empowering children and adults to maintain a healthier weight;
- health at work;
- stop smoking;
- teenage pregnancy.
The Health and Wellbeing partnership group wants to make sure all of these services are available at the right time in the right place to meet needs as they emerge. Most importantly, the partnership group wants to make sure they are working well with young people, their families, schools and GP’s and that these professionals have the skills and knowledge of local services to offer the help and support they need.
The current priority for this partnership group is:
Help children and young people to maintain a healthy weight and good mental health
Some of the key things the partnership group is doing to help achieve this aim include:
- Providing easily accessible information on what and how to feed children at all key stages of development
- Improving the quality, efficiency and access to children’s mental health services at all levels of need across Medway
- Effectively supporting vulnerable groups i.e. looked after children
- Expanding the MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do-it) programme to create fitter, healthier and happy families
- Encouraging better information exchange between all relevant services, for example between A & E and Drug and alcohol Action Team on incidence of children and young people attending A & E with drug and/or alcohol abuse.
Chair: Sally Morris, Assistant Director Commissioning and Strategy, Medway Council and Kent/Medway NHS.
Want to know more?
For further information contact Gurmit Sandhu, Senior Commissioning Manager for Health & Wellbeing on 01634 334404.