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New initiatives to introduce local children and young people to specialist mental health services

A young person sitting on some stairs outside

Students from University of Leicester have teamed up with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) to produce a film that introduces local children and young people to specialist mental health services.

Final year media students from Media and Communications at University of Leicester have produced a short film for LPT’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) as part of their Client Led Media Production Module.

Students worked with the Leicestershire NHS Partnership Trust to design and deliver health communication in an industrial setting, offering valuable hands-on experience within the health communications and public relations sector as part of their programme.

Dr Ed Vollans and Dr Gabi Zogall, lecturers on the Media Programme at the University of Leicester, said: “It’s becoming increasingly clear that the arts have significant impact across our everyday world. Media is everywhere, and it has been our pleasure to help facilitate work placement and applied learning for our final-year students.

“Breaking down the barriers between education and work is a key priority for us on the Media programme, and we are absolutely delighted that our students have been able to take their expertise outside the classroom to benefit the wider community in partnership with CAMHS. Truly our students exemplify being Citizens of Change.”

You can view the film here:

Kamy Basra, Associate Director of Communications and Culture at Leicestershire NHS Partnership, said: “We are really proud to have developed this unique collaboration with the media school at the University of Leicester.

“The partnership has enabled us to work with media students, who have translated our brief into an excellent film that will be used to introduce one of our child and adolescent mental health teams to young people who are potentially going to be seen by them. It will no doubt ease their anxieties about what to expect when they are seen by the team.

“At the same time, the students have had the opportunity to work with our media and communications team, giving them experience in NHS communications and hopefully enticing some of them to think about a career with us.

“We were really impressed with the students and look forward to continuing to build on this partnership project, expanding to more areas for the students to film in the future whilst gaining mentoring from our communications team. It has been a superb quick win-win for everyone involved.”

Dr Andy Bracket, Clinical Lead of CAMHS Intensive Community Support Team, said: “It has been a real joy to have the opportunity to work alongside the school of media on making this project happen. The project was birthed out of an attempt to increase use of media within CAMHS, to reach a wider audience and in particular those who may find it difficult to engage with services for a variety of reasons.

“Having videos that put faces to names and show what we are about, helps us in being more approachable and makes the whole of idea of accessing support feel less abstract and scary. Our young people were involved in sharing their experiences of working with the Intensive Community Support Team and the difference this had made, with this then being taken up by the students to think how this could be creatively represented visually.

“It was great for our young people to have an opportunity to share their stories in a way that would be used to help others in a similar situation. It was a privilege to be part of a truly collaborative process between the University, LPT’s communications team, CAMHS and the young people that we work with, to produce something that looks great and helps capture what our team is all about. I’m excited to see what the future holds for this collaboration as it develops and grows – and I would hugely recommend colleagues continuing to build mutually beneficial, cross-institution connections wherever possible.”