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Poots launches new website for young people with emotional and mental health difficulties

Information aimed at children and young people up to the age of 18 who are experiencing emotional or mental health problems is now only a click away.

Health Minister Edwin Poots today launched the Southern Trust’s Young Healthy Minds Website at the Seagoe Parish Centre in Portadown. The website, www.younghealthymindsni.co.uk, is aimed at children and young people up to the age of 18 who are experiencing emotional or mental health problems and includes information for parents/carers and professionals.

Southern Trust Chair Roberta Brownlee, Geraldine Kane and Health Minister Edwin Poots at the launch of Northern Ireland’s first website for children and adolescents mental health services – www.younghealthymindsni.co.uk

The Health Minister said: “It is vital that young people with a mental illness are supported to take control and live purposeful lives within their communities. With increasing disconnectedness in our society, many young people are left feeling isolated in their attempts to cope with emotional turmoil and the pressures of life.

“The way in which our young people communicate has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. We in health and social care must move with the times and I welcome the Southern Trust’s development of innovative ICT-based approaches to reach out to younger people with a mental illness. The website is an excellent way to engage with these young people and encourage them to talk about how they feel and to seek help.”

The Minister continued: “Much has been done to develop Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in the last few years. We now have four community-based CAMHS teams across Northern Ireland and a Regional Inpatient unit for Children and Adolescents.

“Future improvements to CAMHS across the region will include an increased focus on early intervention, better multi-disciplinary working and increased collaboration with the community and voluntary, education and youth justice sectors.”

Concluding, the Minister said: “I am delighted to launch the Young Healthy Minds website and commend the Southern Trust on their vision and hard work in supporting our children and young people.”

Roberta Brownlee, Chair of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, added: “This is another innovative first for the Trust and we are indebted to the input of young people, their parents and carers, and our staff for this excellent piece of work.”

The Trust’s Assistant Director of Specialist Child Health and Disability Services Geraldine Maguire endorsed the Minister’s comments:

“We want to reach out to young people with a mental illness and this website will provide them with up-to-date information about services available. We listened to young people’s voices when they told us they wanted a website developed which was accessible, attractive and user-friendly for young people which included videos and podcasts based on personal stories, different sections for different people and interesting information. The children and young people have informed and have really driven this project from inception to launch.”

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