Improving access for 16-to-25-year-olds

Improving access to mental health services for young people aged 16-25.

As a part of the community mental health transformation programme one of the key priorities is to improve the existing transition pathway across mental health services for 16-25 year olds, creating a new integrated approach to youth and mental health services.

We have worked alongside young people across the city, community and health services to understand what has been working well, the challenges and ideas for improvement. This was completed with the support of Hive Portsmouth through focus groups, a workshop and a survey with 140 young people.

What you told us

  • Young people want quicker access to the right mental health related support available to access directly in the community with less barriers. Many noted they were often falling through the gaps of criteria within services.
  • Young people want to know what range of mental health related support is available and how to access it.
  • Young people and carers feel confused by the different thresholds, criteria and approaches within AMH and identified the need for more information and guidance to prepare for transition.
  • Young people want an improved transition experience for young people moving from CAMHS to AMH services.
  • Young people want flexible and tailored support to meet their needs.
  • Young people want support provided to be trauma informed.

What we’ve done (and are doing)

These roles will work across adult mental health and children and adolescent mental health services to provide additional support for young people at points of transition. Roles seek to improve accessibility and experience for young people, enabling improved engagement and continuity of care.

The Portsmouth Mental Health Hub was established in April 2023 to provide better access to mental health and community support. The phoneline is run by our team of friendly, fully trained call handlers, who will connect you to the right support for you. The hub is available for anyone over 16 years of age.

We have extended the age range of Kooth taking it from 11 – 18 years of age up to 25 years of age. Kooth is a free online counselling and wellbeing support service. It offers a safe and anonymous virtual space for young people (aged 11-25) to find support and counselling in a way that suits them.

The You Are Not Alone campaign was developed in summer 2022, in partnership with 16-to-25-year-olds and their families.

Since the campaign launched, You Are Not Alone has reached more than 1 million people, and has been expanded to reach a wider audience across Portsmouth.


The training is available to all staff and volunteers across Portsmouth who provide support services to children, young people, families and adults. The training helps people to understand what trauma is, it’s impact and how it presents and how to work in a trauma informed way.

Next steps

To develop with young people and carers an information booklet for ‘Transitioning from CAMHS to Adult Mental health services’. This will be for young people, cares and parents as a tool to help prepare for transition. For some people this can be an uncertain time and it is hoped that the information in the booklet will helps to remove some of the uncertainty.