Helping children, young people and families to get to the right mental health support at the right time...


The ‘Always the Right Door’ Children and Young People’s Mental Health Summit held on 25 October 2023 brought together 250 people working in health and care from across the region all committed to bringing about the changes we need to give children and young people the best start in life.

Improving the mental health of our children and young people is a key priority for the North East and North Cumbria, and we have some clear goals of where we want to be by 2030 as part of our ‘Better health and wellbeing for all’ strategy.



Listening to Experience: Insights from Young People and Parents

A cornerstone of the summit was the invaluable opportunity to hear the first-hand experiences of young people, parents and carers who have navigated the complex landscape of accessing mental health services in the North East and North Cumbria. Their stories brought to light the challenges they’ve faced and the importance of finding “the right door” to support those in need. Serving as a reminder to us all of the importance of listening, and acting on, the experiences of people who use our services.


A Gathering of Minds

At the heart of this summit were the 250 passionate participants who filled the room, each with their own unique perspective and a shared commitment to improving children and young people’s mental health. Attendees came from a wide spectrum of organisations, NHS, local authorities, social care, voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations all with a collective determination to make a difference.


25 World Café Stations: A Global Exchange of Ideas

The day was action-packed with interactive sessions including a world café – all showcasing services from across the region, as well as some problem-solving activities where people got to vote on our top five ‘big ideas’ to take forward – what came out strongly was the need for integrated teams and posts across all sectors and that our young people should be involved in the commissioning and designing of services.

All of the rich content and ideas from the event will be pulled together and form part of our plans for action going forward. The world café stations have been added to the #SolvingTogether platform for Children and Young People's Mental Health. You can access the information, join the conversation, and add your ideas here...

Please also see below for the world café brochure. This includes not only the great work and ideas that were showcased at the event, but details of all the submissions we received, including contact details for those who are involved:


Commitments for the Future

As we reflect on the ‘Always the Right Door’ Children and Young People’s Mental Health Summit, it’s clear that this event was not merely a one-time gathering but a stepping stone towards long-lasting change. The collaboration, shared learning, and the dedication of all participants have set the stage for a more collaborative and effective approach to children and young people’s mental health support.

The event provided a platform for stakeholders to share their insights, and commit to actionable steps that will lead to tangible improvements in children and young people’s mental health services. These commitments pave the way for a brighter and more supportive future for the children and young people in our region struggling with mental health challenges.

If you would like to be involved in shaping our children and young people's health research network, please register to attend our event on 30 May, 10:00am - 1:00pm at One Strawberry Lane (Newcastle-upon-Tyne). If you would like to be part of the network, please contact us.


Design Methodology for the Event

The design methodology we used for the event, including the tasks that were set, is available to download below:


Post Event Report

This report reflects on the conversations, activities and thinking that took place on the day. It notes the key points at this early stage of learning, growing and improving: