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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Our innovations in youth mental health shortlisted for two major awards

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust has been shortlisted for two prestigious national awards this week.

Our trust, the largest of its kind in the country, is in contention for a Health Service Journal award for its Youthspace initiative and strategy for youth mental health.

BSMHFT has been developing Youthspace, its specialist youth service, which aims to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people and improve access to services.

In April, Youthspace signed an International Declaration on Youth Mental Health in England in partnership with the Prince’s Trust to highlight the importance of changing people’s perceptions of youth mental health, and ensure they get the right help at the right time.

Professor Max Birchwood, BSMHFT’s clinical director of youth services, said: “Youthspace is a completely fresh approach to service provision for young people with prevention at its heart.

“Lifelong and recurring mental health problems begin in adolescence and young people are the natural focus for prevention. It also provides a much needed resource for young people about mental health and the services that are available to them.”

The winners of the HSJ Awards will be announced during a gala ceremony at the Grovesnor House Hotel in London on November 20.

Earlier this year staff at our forensic children and adolescent mental health service, based at Ardenleigh in Erdington, became the first secure service in Britain to receive autism accreditation from the National Autistic Society.

As a result, the team have been shortlisted for the Nursing Times Award for nursing in mental health, for enhancing care for young people with autistic spectrum disorder.

Staff at Ardenleigh spent 18 months’ working towards achieving accreditation – a globally-recognised quality assurance programme for autism – which usually takes three years to complete.  During this process they had to demonstrate specialist knowledge and understanding of autism, and how that informs all aspects of assessment, care and practice.

As a result, young service users now benefit from early diagnosis and appropriate treatment to meet their developmental needs.

The winners of the 2012 Nursing Times Awards will be announced at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, in London, on October 31.
 Sue Turner, chief executive of our trust, congratulated all staff involved with the shortlisted initiatives.
She said: “This is fantastic news for our trust and these nominations highlight how committed our staff are to delivering the very best care not only to its service users but to their carers, families and support workers.

“It is also a reflection of the continued dedication and professionalism of our staff and their determination to provide high quality care in new ways. We certainly have much to be proud of.”