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Unique youth services showcased nationally

Senior staff from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust are set to inspire colleagues from across the country by speaking at a national conference about the giant strides the Trust has taken to improve services for hundreds of vulnerable young people.

Andy Goff, CAMHS service manager (Coast), and consultant psychiatrist Dr Sarah Maxwell have been invited to speak at the Transforming Children and Young People's Mental Health Services Conference in London on 25 June.

During their presentation, they will showcase the changes made in Norfolk and Suffolk to create a truly unique and fully integrated service, which offers children and young people support until the age of 25 rather than transferring them to adult services aged 18.

They will use the opportunity to share learning from the development of the new-look youth service, which is now in its third year, as well as discussing ways to increase collaboration between providers to offer joined-up, seamless services.

"The unique changes we have made to the youth services provided by our Trust have been really well-received by our service users and have generated a great deal of interest from other organisations across the country," said Andy.

"In Norfolk and Suffolk, our aim is to treat mental illness in children and young people as early as possible, as evidence shows this can prevent the issue from continuing into their adult lives. By extending our youth service to cater for people aged up to 25, our goal is to provide people with the interventions and support they need to make a full recovery so that they never need to make the transition into adult services. It has been working well so far, with many of the young people in our care finding that they are getting better more quickly as a result of the new model.

"Another key element has been ensuring our young people are fully involved in every aspect of the service, from its design to the employment of new members of staff. We want our service to be youth-friendly, engaging and truly responsive to young people's needs, and have found the only way to achieve this is by working closely with our service users and making sure their voices remain central to everything we do.

"Feedback we have received so far has been really positive, but we know that there are things we could still do better. As well as giving us the chance to share our successes with others, we hope to pick up some good ideas from other speakers at the conference which we could then use to further improve the services available to children and young people across Norfolk and Suffolk."‚Äč