Our charitably-funded Fight For All The Feels campaign to introduce a new youth mental health model of care delivered by peer support workers has reached its £1m target. This has delivered the start up funding needed to pilot the project for a three-year period.
The first of its kind within the UK’s Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), each of the peer support workers, who are primarily aged between 18 and 25-years-old, have their own lived-experiences of mental illness, meaning they leverage personal experiences to help other young people in their medical and personal recovery.
This has transformed the care our Trust provides. Currently two years into the programme, the posts are already being incorporated into ongoing operating budgets to sustain it for the long term.
To-date, 13 peer support workers and one project leader have been employed in full and part-time positions within Forward Thinking Birmingham (FTB), our Trust’s unique mental health service for children, young people and young adults.
Seven are based within our Early Psychosis Team, three have been appointed within the Eating Disorder Service, one is based in FTB’s Community Mental Health Hubs and two are beginning work within a new autism focused service.
Additional peer support workers will be placed within the Eating Disorder Service and Community Mental Health Hub teams, as well as one in each of the five universities in Birmingham to help support their students.
Initial reports show the programme has had a positive impact on patients, the peer Earlier this year we launched our £1.5million iMRI Appeal to bring an intraoperative MRI (iMRI) scanner to our hospital. Home to one of the largest paediatric neurosurgical centres in the UK, our hospital is the only one without an iMRI scanner.
Now, just seven months into the appeal, we’re thrilled to announce we’re only £500,000 off reaching our target, with £1million already raised to transform life changing brain tumour and epilepsy surgery. The need for state-of-the-art iMRI technology is simple. It allows our neurosurgeons to accurately and confidently identify, during a surgical procedure, whether they have removed all of a tumour, right when they need the information the most. support workers themselves, clinical staff and our overall service delivery.
Patients have stated individual one-on-one sessions with the peer support workers have positively impacted their recovery and the peer support workers have thrived in their posts, with many deciding to continue their education and training within the mental health field by taking on more advanced roles.
On a service level, the clinical care within FTB is now more patient-centred and recovery focused, creating a system-wide and long lasting impact on the care delivered.
Our ultimate ambition of creating a model of care which could be replicated across the UK has also started to be realised, with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust investing over £600,000 a year to replicate our model and create a Birmingham Peer Support Hub to support individuals of all ages and backgrounds across our diverse city.