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Young people’s mental health service reaches milestone

Posted: 24/08/21

A mental health service for young people is celebrating reaching an important milestone.

The ARMS (At-Risk Mental State) Service, part of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), has achieved its 100th job after launching in September 2020.

The service was set up to offer advice and support to young people who may be having some unusual experiences that are causing them distress.

Aiming to give young people practical help and psychological support, the team forms a new support pathway for people who are having some difficulties but are not experiencing a first episode of psychosis.

Since its inception, the team has helped a group of young people who may not have otherwise been offered an intervention.

Nicola Barclay, Service Lead and Senior Clinical Psychologist at CNTW, said: “We’re really proud to have been able to support this many service users in such a short space of time and hope this is an indicator of what we are able to offer in the future. This number is testament to the hard work and dedication of every member of staff.

“It has been a huge achievement to set up a service during a global pandemic but massively rewarding to know we’re helping young people in our local area.”

The team works with 14-25-year-olds who have a GP in Newcastle or Gateshead who may be feeling as though things are strange or unreal, sensing things that might not be there or feeling paranoid around others. Young people using the service may also sometimes experience feeling anxious or depressed or might be feeling isolated and struggling with school, work or college.

Feedback from a recent service evaluation has been extremely positive:

“The team has been really kind and I felt safe and accepted.”

“Everyone has been really supportive at taking my opinions on board.”

“It feels nice to say how I feel to others who don’t think this is abnormal, it gives me confidence that I’m not the only one.”

Young people can refer themselves to the service and can also be referred by their GP or a mental health clinician they are working with. The team works within the community across Newcastle and Gateshead. Young people can meet at a place most suitable for them, which could the office, school, their home or a community base. They also offer online appoints.

To refer, email CentralARMSDL@cntw.nhs.uk or to refer by phone call 0191 640 0051 for Newcastle or 0191 223 2020 for Gateshead.