Dartford and Gravesham NHS launches new mental health service to support young people

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust has launched a new service designed to support young people aged 10-25 who are struggling with self-harm or thoughts of suicide.  

The Emerge Advocacy team, part of the trust’s emergency department, will provide positive distraction, encouragement and emotional care for young people struggling with their mental health.  

Based at Dartford and Gravesham’s Darent Valley Hospital, the service, in partnership with Public Health Medway and Kent and Medway CCG, will be available for two nights a week with potential to increase to three nights a week in the near future.  

According to the trust, the Emerge Advocacy service aims to ‘ease’ the struggles of young people who find themselves at the trust’s emergency department for mental health-related reasons, as well as help them to realise ‘their mental health does not define them’.

Founder of the new service, Joy Wright, said: “Having founded Emerge in the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford in 2016, it has been heartening to see how the work of our incredible team has impacted the lives of so many young people already and we are glad to be able to extend this support to the young people of Dartford and Gravesham.  

“Whilst of course it’s our desire that no young person would find themselves in crisis, while young people need support, we are so glad to be there for them to offer a #VoiceOfHope when they need it most.” 

Carley Tomlin, Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust Clinical Nurse Specialist – Lead Nurse for Mental Health, added: “We are really excited to introduce Emerge into the trust.

“It will provide our young people with some support during what may be a very difficult, distressing and scary time being in hospital and experiencing and living with mental illness. The volunteers will be able to provide a listening ear, which so many patients will value and benefit from.”