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Children and Young People in Gloucestershire are set to benefit from a new NHS service which will see those struggling with stress, anxiety or depression receive help.

The Department of Health has today (25 October) announced a £32 million investment in psychological therapies, including talking therapies, for children and young people with mental health problems.

This announcement will see ²gether NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Gloucestershire linking with the University of Reading as part of one of three partnerships across the country. The partnership has come about after a successful bid with a consortium in Oxford to improve talking therapies and test out new ways of providing earlier intervention that will improve the mental health and life chances of our young people in Gloucestershire.

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service will offer information, guidance and talking therapy for children and young people who are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.

Adopting elements of the already successful adult Let’s Talk IAPT programme the service is all about getting help early and quickly. 

Sue Morgan, Lead Commissioning Director for Mental Health Services in Gloucestershire, said:

“We are one of only a few trail blazer consortiums in the country to have been awarded the opportunity to develop this project for the benefit of our young people and it will build on our principles of providing accessible health services which are known to work.

“With one in ten children aged 5-16 years in the country having a clinically diagnosable mental health problem, giving children the right help early on can help improve their childhood and provide them with the right tools as an adult.”

The children and young people IAPT project is going to be part of the recently redesigned Children and Young People Service provided by ²gether NHS Foundation Trust and commissioned by NHS Gloucestershire.

Mathew Page, Children and Young People Service Director, ²gether NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Our new service model is based on providing a wider range of services with more focus on outreach. We are integrating a lot more with primary and social care as well as other children services across Gloucestershire to ensure every child and young person has the same access to our services.

“Being part of this new partnership will enable us to enhance our services even further.”

Existing staff are being trained in targeted and specialist services in an agreed, standardised curriculum of National Institute Clinical Excellence (NICE) approved and best evidenced based therapies.

Children and young people will be involved in the development of the project and in the planning and local evaluation to ensure that services maximise the methods by which children and young people access services, including the times and locations at which appointments are available.