A REPORT from Healthwatch Dorset has found there are certain areas that still need improvement for young people’s mental health.

The organisation spoke to 25 young people aged 13 to 23 and one support worker at groups such as Future Roots, Space Youth Project, and Dorset Mind Young Ambassadors.

In a pre-pandemic 2020 report, one of the main concerns of the report was that young people had to wait to be seen by a professional. 

The 2020 results also concluded young people were unhappy with the number of sessions they were allocated to.

When speaking to a support worker, it would take time to build comfort and trust.

Young people have said they want an extension of the number of sessions.

Another issue that came up from the pre-pandemic report was the constant change in support workers, resulting in a lack of continuity between staff. Young people want to have the same support worker who they are familiar with and trust.

Young people also highlighted the issue that their session feels too ‘clinical’ and that they would prefer a more relaxed atmosphere to feel safe in.

Now, in 2023 the report shows that the same issues in the pre-pandemic report still continue to be a problem today.

Long wait times, same support worker and a clinical environment were still some of the points raised in the 2023 report.

Unhelpful treatment plans, a lack of empathy towards trauma, and no check-in with patients during and after treatment were also issues raised in this year’s report.

Elaine Hurll, head of children and young people, learning disabilities and autism and mental health at NHS Dorset, said: "The report perfectly illustrates the need to improve mental health services for young people living in Dorset and especially for young people who experience more challenges getting the type of help they need."

“Getting it right for all young people is important and so this report will underpin all the work ‘Making Mental Health services better for young people in Dorset."

The report titled ‘Your Mind, your Say’ was released in October 2023.