All children and young people who attend hospital have emotional and mental health needs and some attend specifically due to concerns about their mental health. After looking at the research and speaking with children and young people and mental health professionals we agreed there were key areas that all staff should be able to understand and support in relation to children and young people’s mental health. Most importantly, we heard that children and young people want us to talk to them about their mental health and not ignore the elephant in the room. We want to let you know that We Can Talk about a lot of different things. So we wrote a list.
We Can Talk and listen about your emotional and mental health needs in a clear and non-judgmental way
We Can Talk about how we will look after your physical and emotional needs while in hospital
We Can Talk about how to help manage the challenges of being in hospital by using distraction and relaxation techniques
We Can Talk about your problems and we can find the right person to help
We Can Talk about how to keep you safe while you are staying with us in hospital
We Can Talk or we can communicate in another ways that might work better for you, by writing, drawing, using signs and pictures etc. We’re flexible.
We Can Talk about self harm and other big issues that might be worrying you
We Can Talk in private and will always talk with you about information that needs to be shared.
We Can Talk about difficult or awkward subjects in a way that is not as difficult or awkward as either of us thought it would be
We Can Talk to you and your parents / carers about helpful places to access additional support or information around your mental health
Our principles are a young people and staff friendly version of our evidenced-based educational competency framework available here.