Forward Thinking BirminghamA £124m five year Birmingham South Central Clinical Commissioning Group-funded programme delivering mental health services for children, young people and young adults will tomorrow [7 July] reveal progress made since the preferred bidder was announced in February.

Due to start from October 2015, the city’s new mental health service for 0-25 year olds – Forward Thinking Birmingham – combines Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s expertise with Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the Priory Group, Beacon UK and The Children’s Society, in an effort "to completely change the way that mental health is viewed and delivered in the city", giving it the same priority as physical health and wellbeing.

Mental health service users, the public and health partners, will be attending an information event at Edgbaston Stadium on Tuesday 7 July where progress towards this launch date will be shared.

Forward Thinking Birmingham was chosen by the CCG and children, young people and young adults involved in the process, for its innovative approach and range of entirely new services and facilities focussed around the individual needs of 0-25s". Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe where at least one in 10 five to 16 year olds suffers from a diagnosable mental health disorder, which is around three in every classroom.

Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: "It is well known that young people with mental health problems do not get access to the services they need and deserve, which can have a significant impact on them for the rest of their lives. For too long they have had to navigate a complicated mental health system where many slip through the net, unable to access the care they need at a crucial time of their lives.

"Our unique NHS, charity and independent partnership model has been designed with the needs of children, young people, young adults and families at its heart, transforming expectations of what mental health services can provide, with the intention of setting our young people on a path towards a healthier, happier and brighter future."

As part of the service, a single 24/7 phone number will enable immediate access to experts who will support children, young people, young adults, families, health professionals and those who work with children and young adults, in getting the services they need seamlessly. This could be from online and flexible support in the community to home-based care and urgent services.

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