A room at Blackpool Victoria Hospital has been designed to help children in their counselling sessions feel more relaxed in a more comfortable environment.
The room will be used by the Child & Adolescent Support & Help Enhanced Response (CASHER) team, made up of mental health nurses, CAMHS practitioners, safeguarding nurses, paediatric nurses, health visitors and school nurses, who specialise in supporting people between the ages of 11 to 25, but prioritises those under 16.
The ‘Place of Calm’ room is a government funded initiative to support children and young people in their counselling sessions with mental health experts.
Blackpool is one of the first hospitals to benefit from its share of the £15 million of capital funding to improve the provision, capacity and quality of health-based places of safety announced in 2015.
Elaine Walker, Integrated Emotional Health and Wellbeing Manager, said: “The room has been designed by local young people and is a quiet and more relaxing environment to enable young people to feel comfortable to talk about emotional and mental health matters.
“CASHER provide emotional health, mental health assessment and immediate support to young people who attend the hospital, often looking at how they can best access the ongoing support they need.
“We are also now able to offer appointments as an alternative for young people going to A&E for those who do not need medical intervention.
“It is wonderful to have the facility and that very important mental health support is receiving this attention. It will make a big difference and enhance the work we do.”
CASHER team leader, John Stainton said: “Over the past three months there were 93 young people seen by the team. 74 of these were discharged with a meaningful plan of care put in place to help them move forward.
“Previously to CASHER, the majority of young people would be admitted to the Adolescent or Children’s Ward to be seen by CAMHS. This potentially could have meant a young person being admitted on a Friday evening and not being seen until Monday when CAMHS are working.
“This means the young people that we saw were able to return home, when safe to do so, on the understanding they could contact CASHER if they needed further support in the meantime.”
Rachel Snow-Miller, Director of Commissioning for All Age Mental Health and Learning Disability Services for Lancashire & South Cumbria, added: “We are delighted to see the opening of the Place of Calm room at Blackpool.
“National funding has allowed a real step forward for young people who may need mental health support.
“Blackpool’s Place of Calm room follows on from the recent opening of a similar room in Ormskirk.”
The CASHER team also hold weekly groups for children aged between 10-16 who are seeking support on mental health and wellbeing issues. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to find out more.