The following Motion has been submitted in accordance with Council Procedure 15 [Notices of Motion].
Proposer: Councillor Staniforth
Seconder: Councillor Edwards
Mental Health Support Services for Young People
My motion is to propose the Council request a presentation from West Sussex County Council to outline what services it currently provides for children and young people in the district and its plans for future provision. We may then identify key priorities as a district council to support the wellbeing of children and young people.
The Chair confirmed that one Motion had been submitted for this meeting.
Points of Order were then raised by two Councillors seeking advice as to whether this Motion should stand deferred to an appropriate Service Committee. The Interim Group Head of Law & Governance outlined that as the subject matter of this motion did not fall within the terms of reference of any service committee it could be presented to and debated at Full Council.
Further Points of Orders were raised on whether this Motion should be presented or referred straight to the Housing & Wellbeing Committee. As the meeting was approaching the guillotine, the Chair ruled that the Motion was in order and that Councillor Staniforth should be allowed to present it.
Councillor Staniforth then presented her motion stating that this was an incredibly important matter which was particularly relevant at this time as it effected a certain age group within the district, being teenagers and young people, who were not quite adults, but old enough to be experiencing life’s pressures.
Covid had undoubtedly affected this age group separating them from their peers during lockdown. They had missed a lot of school learning, and now had to endure extra sessions after school on weekdays and even on Saturdays and Sundays to catch up on work for upcoming exams, all adding extra pressure.
Half of all mental health conditions presented themselves by the age of 14, and three quarters by the age of 24 and so this was why early intervention was crucial. Often young people did not want to access school led services, meaning there was an enormous opportunity to help openly in the district’s towns, and to bring mental health issues out of the shadows.
Mental health and suicide awareness was still not talked enough about, and sadly, there was still a link between mental health and social injustice, which often lead to isolation. This was why it was so necessary to bring this Motion to council now to show that the council wanted to offer support to people of this age, within the district.
There were many agencies that dealt with this issue with the County Council taking on a big role, but these services were hugely under-funded. As a district council, it was felt that the reliance should not just be on these agencies as there was much more that the council could do, including highlighting the help that was available; making services easy to find; and not expecting people to be passed from pillar to post to find support.
Another crucial element was that mental health pressures affected everyone at some point. Talking about this openly was key, as was to acknowledge what was happening and to try to see as a council, if further support could be offered.
Councillor Staniforth concluded by stating that she had undertaken some training with this council alongside the Samaritans, to further understand the issue. She wanted to see what the council could do in addition to the work of local agencies, to support young people with mental health and wellbeing. She therefore asked the council to support her Motion by initially asking for update from WSCC as to what services it was providing currently and what their plans were the future so that the council could identify some areas that it could support and develop by way of a presentation to all Councillors so that collectively the council could agree a wider plan as part of the Wellbeing strategy, of this Council’s Vision.
Councillor Edwards then seconded the Motion and urged Members to support it.
The Chair invited debate. Councillor Walsh confirmed that he agreed
with the Motion but wished to put forward some small amendments
that would compliment it. The
amendments are detailed below with deletions shown using
strikethrough and additions shown using bold:
The Council recognises that responsibility for Mental Health Services for Young People is provided by both West Sussex County Council and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
It resolves to
My motion is to propose the Council
request a presentation from West Sussex
County Council and NHS Foundation Trust to
outlining what the
services it currently provided for children and young
people in the district and its plans for future provision. We
may ADC may wish to then identify key priorities
as a district council to better support the wellbeing
of children and young people.
Councillor Walsh confirmed that he had been battling to enhance mental health support services for younger people for a very long time and was still pushing for this at West Sussex County Council. The problem always came down to funding and a lack of resource in terms of the priorities allocated to services for young people. Councillor Walsh confirmed that it was vital to have input from The NHS Foundation Trust and so he hoped that Councillor Staniforth and her seconder would accept the slight amendments made.
Councillor Bower then seconded this amendment.
Councillor Staniforth confirmed that she was happy to accept the amendments as was her seconder, Councillor Edwards.
Councillor Edwards was then invited to speak as seconder on the substantive. He outlined that youth services were still losing funding and that this affected not just children, but their siblings and parents. If there were residents in the district that needed help, the council should do all it could to assist. Councillor Staniforth echoes the points made.
The Chair then returned to the substantive motion.
That the Council recognises that responsibility for Mental Health Services for Young People is provided by both West Sussex County Council and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
It resolves to request a presentation from West Sussex County Council and NHS Foundation Trust outlining the services currently provided for children and young people in the district and its plans for future provision. The Council (ADC) may wish to identify key priorities to better support the wellbeing of children and young people.
In line with the Constitution at Part 5 – Rules of Procedure (Meetings) - Section 1 – Council Procedure Rules – Rule 11 [Duration of Meetings], a request was made for Councillors to vote on extending the meeting from 10.30 pm to 11.00 pm. At the voting on this was not carried, the meeting was adjourned.
(The meeting was adjourned at 10.31 pm)