CHILDREN and adolescents have helped shape a service which cares for young people with mental illness.

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust asked its own service users for feedback to improve the county’s child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS). The service treats youngsters with mental health illnesses such as bipolar, Asperger’s and schizophrenia.

The service meets a young peoples’ board known as Lost Minds, made up of members who are either service users, ex-service users or who have been affected by mental health in one way or another.

The group provides feedback on services in order to assess the treatment of young people.

One member of Lost Minds, Rory Barnes, of Worcester, has been active in the group for over a year. He has gone from meeting trust staff to discuss types of treatment and engagement to undertaking a voluntary six-week work placement with the organisation.

He said: “The trust listened to our ideas and introduced the Single Point of Access (SPA) service, which is a great idea. There are fewer hoops for service users to jump through. Also, some patients are less eager to help themselves due to their illness but with SPA it’s so simple.”

Lisa Leonard, Lost Minds co-ordinator, said: “Our relationship with CAMHS started when we asked our members to complete a survey on what they thought of the services they received.

“We handed the results to CAMHS and they had a serious look at them. From there it’s been really positive with young people visiting staff to see how they work and even advising staff on how to make the service better.”