Rachel Senior is a youth worker for East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. With Ipswich Hospital launching a brand-new youth service for 11- to 19-year-olds, she explains how the service will offer support for everything from low level mental health issues to education
Young people receiving care at Ipswich Hospital can now get extra support for their wellbeing, mental health and educational needs following the launch of a brand-new youth service. Clinicians can refer patients aged between 11 and 19 to youth worker Rachel Senior, who will provide approximately six to eight one-to-one sessions offering help with everything from building confidence and self-esteem to accessing education and exploring strategies to promote positive emotional wellbeing.
The launch of the service brings Ipswich Hospital in line with Colchester, which is also run by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT). Rachel set up the youth service in Essex in 2019 and has received 472 referrals since, along with a raft of positive feedback. Comments include:
- “It was amazing to have someone there to support you when you need a chat from a friendly staff member who is kind and considerate.”
- “I found it very helpful as I know I can speak to the youth worker and get support. She has also helped me with college.”
- “Extremely helpful. Without the support, I wouldn’t be in my current position.”
‘The Colchester youth service has been running successfully for the past four years and has received great feedback from the young people we have supported,’ says Rachel. ‘We are really excited that we can now offer the same service to young people in Ipswich and east Suffolk.
‘We offer support for everything from low level mental health issues to support with education, self-esteem, confidence and building motivation.
‘We hope that we can provide holistic care to our patients which compliments the medical treatment they are receiving from our clinical teams.’
Over the coming months, Rachel hopes to set up a Youth Forum at Ipswich Hospital which will give young people aged between 13 and 19 who have received care during the past two years the chance to feedback on their experiences and suggest areas for improvement.
Anyone who is interested in finding out more or joining the forum should email email@example.com. Visit East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (esneft.nhs.uk).