Scilly’s Youngsters Asked Their View On Mental Health Provision

St Mary's Hospital

St Mary’s Hospital

Young people on the islands have been asked their views on mental health issues.

It’s part of a project by the NHS called ‘Hear My Voice’ which aims to find out what support youngsters in Scilly and Cornwall actually need from the health service.

Youth Worker, Ellie Wright, from the organisation Young People Cornwall visited Mundesley House and the school during her visit yesterday, and met with children across the full age range.

She felt youngsters here had a much better understanding of mental health issues than their counterparts on the mainland and the small community was very supportive.

But that also creates some unique problems too.

A lack of privacy and confidentiality was a major concern for them, said Ellie.

Children told her of the ‘Chinese whispers’ effect, where everybody finds out about their problems, and she said it’s preventing them from talking about them.

But there was one surprising finding for Ellie. She expected children on the off-islands would feel even more isolated than those on St Mary’s.

But she found children boarding at Mundesley House could go to house-parent Ann Pearson, someone outside their family, with any problems.

The feedback from the youngsters will be used to develop an NHS strategy for the next five years, which could include solutions tailored for the islands, like a confidential phone line or online help.

Ellie says some of the usual mental health services for young people seem more limited here than on the mainland and our children don’t always know how to access them.