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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Trust's partnership work with young people and homeless charity gains national recognition

Published: 08/07/2015


Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust has been shortlisted for a national award for its pioneering project for young people.

The Trust’s Youthspace initiative has been shortlisted for the prestigious Nursing Times Awards following its partnership work with youth charities St Basils, which works with young homeless people, and the Prince’s Trust, which supports the young unemployed and those struggling at school.

Youthspace aims to raise awareness of mental health services for young people and challenge the discrimination people with mental health illnesses can face, while promoting positive mental health for young people and offering advice, support and information.

The scheme Youthspace has been shortlisted for the Nursing Times’ HRH The Prince of Wales Award for Integrated Approaches to Care because of its work with St Basils and the Prince’s Trust.

John Short, Chief Executive at Birmingham and Solihull NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are immensely proud of the work Youthspace has done in connecting with young people and raising the awareness of mental health services for them. Its team and youth board - which is made up of young service users, students, volunteers and young professionals – is dedicated to improving services for 16 to 25 year olds and being shortlisted for this award is testament to their hard work

“Working with charities such as the Prince’s Trust and St Basils means we can reach people, who are often vulnerable, who may need our services, but might not be aware of or know how to access them. The work carried out by Youthspace - particularly with homeless young people through St Basils - is just one of the ways we engage with communities to ensure those who might otherwise risk falling through gaps in the health care system receive the help they need.”

The Trust already provides support for homeless people with mental health needs through access to all its services, incorporating emergency out of hours mental health services, the Community Mental Health Team and The Homeless Health Exchange, which provides GP services for homeless people in Birmingham.

Both the Community Mental Health Team and Health Exchange attend a weekly street outreach service led by, a housing, care and support organisation, Midland Heart, to make sure people sleeping rough in the city can gain access to mental health services.

In addition, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner attends Sifa Fireside, a charity that works with homeless people, to provide surgeries at its site twice a week. The Community Mental Health Team works closely with the charity to support homeless people with mental health needs and is currently working with it with regard to organising Mental Health First Aid Courses and supporting the forthcoming World Mental Health Day and World Homeless Day, both of which fall on 10 October.

The 2015 Nursing Times Awards showcases innovations that are shaping and improving nurse-led care in the NHS and through independent healthcare providers.

Youthspace will find out if it has been successful in the awards on 12 November when winners will be announced at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.