Jeremy Quin, MP for Horsham, has today confirmed that, following intense work with local councils, the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the CCG that plans are being developed for a mental health hub for young people to be based in Horsham.
Mental health is a real concern amongst young people and this has been compounded by the consequences of Covid and its impact on mental health and wellbeing.
Jeremy Quin spoke in depth to students and heads during the autumn term. While hugely positive work was underway from all the authorities, parents, teachers and local volunteers to support young people and extra resources in place, it was clear we needed a longer term solution to support these efforts and provide a focus for young people.
Students themselves in those discussions were actively calling for a hub, away from school, where they could receive advice and support and if necessary a pathway into longer term assistance.
The hub in Horsham will draw on the experience of an existing scheme in East Sussex called i-Rock; a one stop shop youth hub for young people aged 14-25. Young people are able to drop-in without a referral, an appointment or meeting any threshold criteria and are seen immediately by a member of staff. Jeremy visited one of the i-Rock sites last month to see how the hub works in practice.
The East Sussex i-Rock is an innovative solution which has been highly praised for its work nationally and locally.
A hub in Horsham will provide young people with a central focus and a safe space, differentiated from school/college and home life, to discuss their concerns and help them receive appropriate support.
Jeremy Quin said “All the agencies and schools have all worked together really well to provide support but we need to go a step further and secure a central hub in Horsham to support young peoples’ mental health. It’s what students themselves want to see and we know this can really help.”
“I am very proud that with huge goodwill from all the agencies we are getting close to getting this across the line and delivering for young people in Horsham initially an on-line platform followed by a walk-in centre which they want and we know will help.”
“We have agreement in principle for a physical hub to be located in the town centre, but it may take up to nine months to get it set up. I will be working with all the agencies to reduce this time frame. I will also be working with them to push for a soft-launch via a virtual hub to offer support to young people online.”
Dr Jane Padmore, the Interim Chief Exec of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have worked closely with Jeremy and our system partners on developing this vital service for young people in West Sussex. It's clear from the success of the i-Rock service in East Sussex how valuable it is. It's been an incredibly difficult couple of years for children and young people, and we think this new development will provide vital extra support. It will mean more young people can get confidential advice and support for emotional and mental wellbeing, employment, education and housing via the drop-in service and without an appointment, and at a time that suits them."
Photo Credit: Jeremy Quin at i-Rock in Hastings, Jeremy Quin meeting with Millais students and Jeremy Quin with Dr Jane Padmore