7 December 2015

Liverpool CAMHS Takeover Day November

Between 16th – 20th November, young people across the Liverpool CAMHS offer and wider partners took part in a series of takeover events where they worked with other young people, stakeholders, and commissioners to have their say about services available to young people.

Throughout the week, over 60 young people took part in national and local events to give feedback to services on ideas for developments and/or improvements from a young person’s point of view. From “Dragon’s Den” evenings to attending meetings with commissioners, they certainly had their say.

Here’s a taster of some of the activities and some of the feedback received…

National Event with NHS England National Takeover Day 14th November 2015

On Saturday 14th November, seven young people from across the Liverpool CAMHS Partnership and wider partners attended NHS England National Takeover Day. Throughout the day there were discussions taking place around Peer Support, Education & Challenging Stigma, Research from BAME communities and a table hosted by NCVYS to explore what young people want from youth workers and health professionals to better take care of their own health. On the day, a young person from Barnardo’s Action for Young Carers teamed up with a young person from Young Addaction – who were both qualified peer mentors, to lead on the “Peer Support” discussion table to gather views around this topic. Feedback included:

Peer mentors should have different ways for young people to communicate with them. Some young people can’t express their feelings verbally so let them draw, write, show you via videos how they feel rather than having a verbal discussion, including better use of technology.”

Have establish peer support teams/champions within schools or youth groups so that if a young person goes to the GP for support with their mental health, their doctor can signpost them to a peer support champion in their school or youth group for someone they can talk to. This will allow them to have some sort of friendly support and someone they can talk to whilst waiting for their CAMHS appointments to start – which in most cases young people don’t know how long this will be.”

GP Referrals: GP’s need more training when referring a young person, to make them feel comfortable when leaving the appointment in knowing where to go for help. They need more training from young people on how it makes them feel when they don’t know where to go and are waiting in ‘limbo’.”

From the suggestions given, they will be taken on board and incorporated in to a 2 – day pilot peer support programme that will be delivered by Voices in Partnership and Mental Health Promotion at MYA. Overall, young people felt that their schools/colleges/organisations would really benefit from having peer mentors, and would like to have a say in the design of the programme.

Local Event with Alderhey FRESH – 18th November

Young people from FRESH at Alderhey CAMHS hosted a takeover evening with the aim to bring young people from the partnership together and discuss current work taking place that young people are involved in, as well as exploring ways in which we can all support each other and work better in the future. Young people that attended were from FRESH, Barnardo’s Action for young carers, YPAS, and ADHD Foundation.

The evening was led by young people from FRESH. Some comments from young people suggested that because the partnership has different partners, who all have different aims and different services for young people, it is hard to engage and bring together all the young people from across the partnership. It was therefore suggested and agreed that for young people across the partnership to get to know each other more and build relationships, there will be a young person’s social event in half terms/school breaks arranged by LH.

Local Event at YPAS – 19th November

Young people from across the CAMHS partnership came together at YPAS to take part in a ratification panel, in a dragon’s den format. Individual staff members entered the dragons den to present a service leaflet for the young people to ratify and make comments on. In total, 15 YPAS staff individually entered the dragons den to present their service leaflet. The dragons had time to deliberate after the presentation and rated the leaflet on a RAG Rating system as follows;

  • RED: The leaflet is inadequate for young people and requires quite a lot of changes for it to be suitable for young people.
  • AMBER: Overall, the leaflet is good. It just requires some minor changes suggested by the dragon’s den panel to achieve the green status.
  • GREEN: Young people think the leaflet is brilliant as it is and think it requires no changes.

Staff members who received either an amber or red status were required to make the changes in time for the ratification panel, which will take place at YPAS on Thursday 10th December, where the staff members will re – present their new service leaflets to the young people, along with the changes suggested.

Local event in partnership with Young Addaction – 20th November

On the 20th November, Liverpool CAMHS and Young Addaction teamed up to host a children’s wellbeing services Takeover Day at the City of Liverpool College. At this event, young people from across the partnership and wider partners took part and came up with some great suggestions. 

During the event, 5 round table discussion were hosted around the following key themes:

  • Brook: how to break barriers to young people accessing the service
  • Young Addaction x 2: Interactive table where young people learnt about drugs and alcohol and the issues that can come from this, followed by discussions on how the service can be developed and how they can most effectively engage with children and young people
  • Mental Health: Discussion on a school/college campaign to be ran in February 2016 (children’s mental health week) on ‘1 thing a day for mental health’. Collated ideas from young people what they would like to see for each day that would make them feel good (please see below for suggestions!).
  • Youth Offending Service: Questions asked to young people around what they think would be useful for young people to complete as part of their orders.

Mental Health School Campaign Suggestions

  • Music in corridors or in form time
  • Gym at breaks/punch bag for anger issues
  • Lunchtime yoga
  • Therapeutic colouring books available
  • Talk to a friend day
  • Pamper session
  • Time out card used in lessons if you need a break if it’s too much – discussion around those with ADHD or behavioural needs.
  • Positive quotes on walls scattered around school/college/workplace
  • Watch TV in form time
  • Relaxation/Deep breathing exercise before you go to class
  • Sports Tournament to end the week – inter-form competition.
  • Relaxation room (bean bags/chill music)
  • Movie after school
  • Bean bags
  • Trampolining session
  • Self talk – tell yourself to start the day with a smile
  • Landscaped/peaceful pictures
  • Dance to feel good music
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Art
  • Speaker/Tanoy system
  • ‘’Positivity’’ Day
  • Morning walks
  • Ask a friend what ‘’ticks’’ them off and how you can help – peer support

From this, a young people’s campaign sub group will be set up and will work together to come up with any more ideas and select a ‘package’ of 1 a day things to offer out in to schools/colleges. This will be led by Kath Thompson, Mental Health Promotion Worker at MYA.

This event was a great success, and a great partnership with Young Addaction in planning, developing and delivering the event!

Young People Shadowing Commissioners

Throughout takeover week, a young person from FRESH and a young person from Barnardo’s Action for Young Carers shadowed and worked with Lisa Nolan from Liverpool CCG to learn about commissioning and the role it plays in services. They also attended meetings on data sharing and neurodevelopmental work to have a say around those areas from a young person’s perspective.

One of the young people also had the opportunity to go to Aintree Racecourse and work with other professionals and some other young people to have a say around crisis care, and how we can work better to prevent it getting to that stage. At this event, a parent from the CAMHS Partnership also attended to have her say around crisis care and really valued having a voice and listening to others points of view.

As well as this, a young person from YPAS also shadowed members of senior management to learn about their role in a service and give their views on elements of the service.


Takeover week across the Liverpool CAMHS Partnership and wider partners was a great success. With over 60 young people taking part in various activities, and a variety of different services across the city gaining the views of children and young people. All young people that took part had a voice around different services affecting young people’s mental health and emotional well-being.

They gave some great feedback that will most definitely be used in future work, and then fed back to the young people on how their views have been taken on board. Thank you to all that took part in hosting and/or taking part in activities, it was a great effort from all partners with all young people saying they thoroughly enjoyed the events. Here are some of their comments…

‘’ It was interesting to find out what money is spent where and what resources are put in to each section. I didn’t fully understand what commissioning was, but I do now. I think in the future it’d be important to have a group of young people going to meetings with commissioners to get a good mix of young people from different age ranges. I’d recommend young people get further involved in the process with the CCG and have an involvement in their decision making’’. – YPAS young person, Aged 19, on shadowing commissioners.

‘’ I enjoyed seeing the numerous services coming together and discussing how we can all make a difference to improve young people’s mental health. I’m attending the takeover events at YPAS on the 19th J’’ – YPAS Young person, aged 16, on NHS National Takeover Event.

‘’I enjoyed leading a peer mentoring session and getting very good feedback. Overall I’m not sure if our views will be taken in to consideration, but I learnt a lot’’ – Barnardo’s Action for Young Carers, Aged 16, on NHS England National event.

‘’This was interesting. It was gripping to hear the stories of people in crisis. I listened to other people’s views on crisis care and enjoyed getting involved and having more of an idea on what services should be like’’ – YPAS young person, aged 19, on crisis care event.

‘’ For me, shadowing a CAMHS commissioner was nothing but beneficial and interesting. It enhanced my knowledge on the services available and the funding that goes in to them. The neurodevelopmental conference that I attended opened my eyes to services and facilities that I didn’t even know existed. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent shadowing Lisa Nolan during takeover week. I would definitely do it again!’’ – FRESH Young Person, Aged 17, on shadowing commissioners.

‘’ This has been fun, can we come again? And can I join this group?!’’ – ADHD Foundation young person, aged 14, about FRESH and YPAS event! 

‘’It’s good to hear the ideas of others and listen to their view, I think a school campaign like this would be great’’ – YPAS Young Person, Aged 19, on Young Addaction Event.