'Waiting Time' - a Mental Health Parent Support Group

peer support for families who have young people waiting to receive mental health sUpport

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The background...

In June 2019 Bev McKeon came to Young Harrow Foundation to see how she could get support locally for parents and families who are enduring long waiting times for their children to get mental health support from CAHMS.

Bev and her family had been through this process, waiting for 9 months, and left with nowhere to turn.

During this time they found family life more challenging than it had ever been.

What happened next...

Young Harrow Foundation formed a new partnership around the issue - Harrow Council's commissioning team, CCG, CAMHs, Mind in Harrow, Barnardos, and Heads Up (a mental health support programme).

Together they supported Bev to design a peer support programme for local parents who may be going through a similar experience.

A safe space where parents/carers can meet to share experiences and support each other. There is also a range of workshop sessions to help parents support their young person.

What has been very important for these parents is having a voice among the stakeholders that need to hear and understand the challenges parents and families are going through.


So far 28 parents in the borough have been given an opportunity to have their voice heard among the organisations that need to hear it

This new partnership has led to important changes in the CAMHS communication process (parents now receive more communication, more explanation of services, and in official letter format so they have the power to discuss decision making with school).

CAMHS contract has been updated to ensure that parent and youth voice is a central part of the work

CAMHS is the backbone organisation – but continues to be led by parents

This is now an ongoing support offer for parents in Harrow.

See the project