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NHS long-term plan supports mental health initiative for young people

8 January 2019

An initiative developed with UCLPartners to support young people’s mental health has been endorsed by the long-term NHS plan, published yesterday.

The plan, which lays out how the NHS will spend its funding over the next 10 years, names mental health as a top priority, and endorses i-THRIVE as a key approach to ensure shared decision-making with patients and collaborative working across services.

i-THRIVE is an initiative supporting care providers to implement an integrated, person-centred, and needs-led approach to delivering mental health services for children, young people and their families. It was initially developed at UCLPartners together with the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

i-THRIVE is building capacity to help identify the mental health needs of vulnerable children and young people and their families.

Responding to the plans, Professor Peter Fonagy, Programme Director for Mental Health at UCLPartners said: “The chance of any of us going through life without experiencing a diagnosable mental health disorder (excluding dementia) is just about 16%. In particular, there is increasing concern about the mental health of our children and young people.

“i-THRIVE was developed within our partnership and its implementation is already improving access to services for children and their families. By spreading this approach across the country we’ll be able to ensure children with mental health problems are supported according to their individual needs, not simply according to their diagnosis.”

Dr Charlie Davie, Managing Director of UCLPartners said: “It’s great to see initiatives we’ve developed with our partners referenced in the plan. The iThrive approach brings multiple agencies together to work in unison to meet the needs of children, young people and their families. Spreading the THRIVE framework will help to give children a good start in life.”

Read more about how i-THRIVE is changing the shape of children and young people’s mental health services

Read the full NHS Long Term Plan