parents say

YoungMinds is working with NHS England to support the participation of parents and carers in improving mental health services for children and young people.

The Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme (referred to as CYP IAPT) within NHS England recognises that parents have a critical role to play in shaping and informing the services that are offered to children and young people.

YoungMinds will be working with the CYP IAPT National Programme Team and the five regional hubs that currently work with 82 CAMHS partnerships (this includes Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, CAMHS, in the NHS, voluntary organisations and local authorities and includes the 15 new partnerships recruited in 2014) to develop excellent practice involving parents to improve:

  • joint decision making around the type of treatment received by the child or young person
  • availability and accessibility of services
  • overall experience and opportunities to feedback and comment on services

We will work with all of the partners involved to ensure services take on board what parents say about what works to improve service delivery on the ground. All materials and resources will be co-developed and tested thoroughly with parents.

We will be developing and publishing an online toolkit that will help services build the case for, and implement, effective parent participation.


Key themes emerging from our initial research and conversations with parents are presented in a short powerpoint presentation.

We have grouped the experiences and ideas under 5 headings:

  • Communications
  • Access and Equality & Diversity
  • Leadership and Service Development
  • Workforce development
  • Engagement methods.


We are looking for parents to be involved in this work with us to help us shape and inform what we do.

Over the next 12 months, we will support and work with a group of 20 parents or carers to make sure we are properly and accurately reflecting your needs and challenges. We want to use your wealth of expert experience to inform services about why and how they should involve parents to constantly improve the services they are delivering to children and young people and their families.

This will take the form of

  • a small number of facilitated workshops, led by an experienced YoungMinds facilitator. Out of pocket expenses will be paid for attendance at workshops, and dates and times will be set according to the availability of the parents attending
  • a closed Facebook group which will provide a safe space to talk through any arising issues with other parents
  • email consultation to review the recommendations we will be sending to CAMHS.

There will also be the chance to be involved on a more informal basis through a wider interest group that will receive only email updates and be asked to feedback on recommendations via email.

If you are a parent or carer interested in helping shape how parents can participate to improve the delivery of care in CAMHS please register your interest.

We will then send you some further information about what will be expected from you and from us, and a short form for you to complete to let us know what your experiences have been so far and why you would like to become involved.


This project works very closely with MYAPT – a similar programme working nationally to ensure that children and  young people themselves have the opportunity to inform and influence the way CAMH services will be delivered, as well as building a continuous process that recognises the importance of engaging with the children and young people who use their services.



More information will be forthcoming, so keep an eye on these pages.

The NHS England CYP IAPT pages also contain a lot of information about what’s happening in the programme nationally.

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For this project, we have some clear definitions in place to help us focus on what we are doing.

Children and young people” means those aged between 0-18, and sometimes a bit older.

Improving Access” means the right services in the right place, at the right time, delivered by people with the right skills. The CYP IAPT programme is making sure that the services involved (CAMHS partnerships covering 60% of the under 19 population by 2015) are able to better respond to these requirements.

Psychological therapies” are some of the different ways of assessing and treating the mental and emotional state of a person.  They very often involve the therapist encouraging the young person to talk about the things that are bothering them, and develop strategies to manage the child or young person’s ability to deal with these emotions.

If you would like any further information about the work we intend to carry out, or about how we are involving parents in the development of the resources, please contact

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