The Centre is run jointly by Herne Hill Group GP Practice and charity Redthread Youth Limited, and is now primarily funded by NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group. Young people have been actively involved in developing the facility from the start, from its design and layout, to shaping services through its Youth Panel. The Centre takes a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, starting with an initial assessment by the GP and youth worker that helps to identify mental health and other medical and social issues early on. Individuals are then quickly signposted to the Centre’s most appropriate service, whether it is counselling and support from the youth workers, attending the Centre’s Voice Collective group for young people who hear voices, or working with a more senior mental health worker seconded from CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services). Early intervention also helps reduce the long term costs associated with treating mental health conditions.
The Well Centre’s GP’s offer assessment and treatment of a wide range of physical and psychological conditions and the broader team provide advice on sex education, exercise, diet and nutrition, and smoking and alcohol use, that all support young people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Since it opened, just over a 1,000 young people have used the Centre and 30 per cent of those have had mental health conditions. Of those that have visited the facility, 97 per cent said they would recommend it to friends or family, 59 per cent reported an improvement in their ‘life satisfaction’ and 68 per cent reported an improvement when asked ‘how are they doing’.
Background: co-founders of the service are Dr Stephanie Lamb from the Herne Hill Group Practice, London (SE24), and John Poyton Chief Executive of Redthread Youth Limited, London (SE21)