Young people in Sandwell can get a better understanding of how to access mental health services, thanks to the launch of the i-THRIVE model by Sandwell Council and local services.

Funded by the Black Country Integrated Care Board, Sandwell Council’s SHAPE Team and SHAPE Youth Forum consulted young people from a range of local forums and found that they wanted a very simple model which clearly shows how they can access specialist mental health support in Sandwell.
A video has been launched, developed by the young people themselves, which explains the framework and how it can help them access the support they need.
The video highlights the framework’s five categories of: thriving, getting advice and signposting, getting help, getting more help and getting risk support.  It shows what young people need to do to be able to access different levels of support. For example, support for getting advice can be accessed through any trained trusted adult like a teacher, GP or youth worker, but for more specialist support, the trained trusted adult will refer them in to the single point of access, so their needs can be assessed and they can get help from the most appropriate service for their needs.
Emphasis is placed on prevention and the promotion of mental health and wellbeing across the whole population. Children, young people and their families are empowered through active involvement in decisions about their care through shared decision making, which is fundamental to the approach. 

Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, Councillor Syeda Khatun, said:
“Mental health and wellbeing are a top priority. Working with, and listening to, young people across Sandwell has led to the development of this important tool which will help young people know how to access the services they need at the time they need them.”
Mags Courts, head of CAMHS Commissioning at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: 
“All of us want to thrive and enjoy our lives. We urge young people to speak to a trusted adult as soon as they think they need help, as we don’t want young people to wait until they are in crisis to get the support they need. We hope the i-THRIVE model will make the support on offer clear and helps ease the way for young people in Sandwell to live thriving, happy lives.”

Published: Monday, 18th September 2023