Read our YEAH! 2 report and watch the film

Over 800 young people shared their experiences of health and care services in the work that led to the latest report from Healthwatch Essex.

CmGujXpXIAEtv6iThe YEAH! 2 report builds on the success of our previous YEAH! Report, which found that 8 in 10 young people in the county were not provided with information about how to access mental health services, despite many needing the support.

YEAH! 2 (YEAH! stands for ‘Young Essex Attitudes to Health and Social Care’) saw the Healthwatch Essex Engagement Team return to the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme, run by Essex Boys and Girls Club.

Throughout the summer of 2015, we engaged with young people from across the county about their experiences of health and care. In all the Yeah! 2 project saw us engage with 865 young people – that’s twice as many young people than in 2014 for our YEAH! report.

One of the key findings from the first YEAH! report was that mental health was a priority for young people, and so it was decided YEAH! 2 would explore in more detail young people’s lived experience of mental health. Alongside this, we also looked at social care and spent time asking young people why they used A&E – as opposed to alternative services such as walk-in centres and NHS 111.

Essex County Council’s (ECC) Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee has announced that the YEAH! 2 report has prompted them to make a ‘Call for Evidence’ around the issue of mental health services for young people. The authority has said it wants to hear people’s stories about the accessibility, availability and quality of services as they gather evidence for a review.

Some of the key findings of the YEAH! 2 report included:

  • While 9 in 10 young people thought it was important to be informed about mental health, only 3 in 10 had ever received information on the topic
  • Of the 865 participants we engaged with, 6 in 10 wanted to learn more about social care topics such as disability and support available for young carers.
  • Despite 6 in 10 participants saying they had used A&E, less than 1 in 10 said they had used the 111 telephone line or visited a walk-in centre

In addition to the findings, the YEAH! 2 report also makes a number of recommendations. These include a more personalised approach to care, considering young people’s transition through services on an individual basis.

Alongside the report, there is also a film available to view that was shot last summer while the engagement work was underway.