NCL Waiting Room is a new NHS website packed with mental health information and resources, designed to help users navigate support options for mental health and wellbeing.
The website was coproduced with young people, families and professionals, and acts as a one-stop shop for information on specialist mental health services, voluntary sector organisations and self-management resources.
It allows young people, parents/carers and professionals to search for, filter and share resources based on their needs and preferences.
Waiting times are increasing for young people across the country, with 39,777 young people waiting over 12 weeks to be seen at their local mental health service. Currently, there is little support offered during the waiting period, and it can be challenging to navigate and understand the resources and support that are available across the whole system.
Young people, who were involved in the project from the start, say it is beneficial to have this kind of information in one place.
“That first meeting – you wait for so long and it goes in the blink of an eye – to have all this information prior, I think, is invaluable,” said one young person.
Another said: “This is an incredible tool to help people access something they feel is useful.”
“Support being accessible on this site would change people’s lives in an amazing way,” added another.
NCL Waiting Room will continue to grow and develop. Later in the year, users will have the option to create tailored support plans for themselves or people they care for, which can be shared with others. They will also be able to save and favourite resource pages.
Young people will be invited to record their feelings, share vital information about their mental health, and store details about their preferences and needs.
Dr Rachel James, Clinical Services Director at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“It’s been a pleasure to work alongside our young people in developing this site. It’s been a genuine journey of coproduction – we’ve listened, and young people have been involved from the outset, and have shaped and co-designed it. That’s what makes it the brilliant resource it is.”