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20 March 2023

Successful Primary Care Webinar Showcases Innovative Youth Mental Health Services

Over a hundred guests recently attended a successful webinar led by Dr Mohit Venkataram, ELFT Executive Director for Primary Care, and guest speaker Dr Sian Stanley.

Over a hundred guests attended a successful webinar led by Dr. Mohit Venkataram, ELFT Executive Director for Primary Care, and guest speaker Dr. Sian Stanley on March 15, 2023.

Dr. Stanley, Clinical Director at Stort Valley PCN, discussed a new primary care network mental health service that is helping young people in the UK by providing early intervention and support for mental health issues.

Dr. Stanley and her team noticed a large mental health burden across all ages in their population, particularly among children and young people (CYP). This prompted them to create a bespoke social prescribing service that guides young people and prevents more established mental health disorders from emerging. They recruited a young person from the local population to lead the service and created a team of mental health coach, occupational therapist, and care coordinator to help CYP.

The service provides a combined bio-psychosocial model that focuses on communication, empathy, and cultivating trust. They do not use forms for referrals and have no rejected referrals. The service has a high level of GP and patient satisfaction, and the team collaborates with school nurses.

Dr. Stanley stressed the importance of early intervention, particularly for eating disorders, and discussed various initiatives they have set up to support young people, including an art group, gym classes, and support for young homeless individuals. The service is constantly evolving, and Dr. Stanley encourages attendees to give feedback and attend future webinars.

The presentation generated a range of thought-provoking questions from guests, including GPs from across the country.

Dr. Mohit Venkataram, Executive Lead for Primary Care at ELFT, praised the work of Dr. Stanley adding:

"I was genuinely impressed by the transformation you have brought to parents, to families, to children, to the community, and you've kept the focus live on the child, which is so important in every service we deliver. As a father, it brings me absolute joy to know that in primary care there will be some resilience created in the future for my children, their children, my nieces, nephews, and many of the colleagues who are online today because of people like you who have led the way in making a difference." 

The new primary care network mental health service at Stort Valley is providing much-needed support for young people in the UK, and its success shows the importance of early intervention and non-medical interventions in mental health care.

The monthly Future of Primary Care evening webinars feature specialist speakers in the field of General Practice and Primary Care and are an opportunity to hear from distinguished and knowledgeable leaders.

Watch the Recording on YouTube