Minister visits Children 1st in Aberdeen

Aberdeen parents recently met with Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, Kevin Stewart MSP, at the Children 1st Fit Like? Family Wellbeing Service to discuss how community based, trauma informed, support has helped their families.

The Minister met with Katy and Mark, who shared their experiences of the Fit Like? hubs and the positive impact that the whole family trauma informed support provided by Children 1st at the hubs has had on their lives. 

Both parents talked about their children’s experience of deteriorating mental health and the need for support that went beyond that of the statutory clinical services of CAMHS. Mark and Katy both highlighted that what was vital about the support they received from Children 1st at Fit Like? Aberdeen, was its flexibility, accessibility, and the wide range of what is available. 

Katy and Mark highlighted that this allowed both their children, aged 16 and 14, to form a trusting relationship with a Children 1st worker. Katy and Mark highlighted that these relationships also extended to the wider family, which provided them as parents with advice and guidance when they felt “lost, scared or alone”.

 

The Minister remarked on the need for accessible community-based support for children and young people who are facing deteriorating mental health, recognising the impact that the pandemic has had on young people’s lives.

The Fit Like? Family Wellbeing Service is a collaboration of services, that offers early, coordinated, and responsive help to support children and families improve their mental wellbeing.

Families can access support through Fit Like? wherever they feel most comfortable, at home, school, in a local park or community setting or one of our three hubs, in Northfield, Balgownie, and Kincorth.

The Fit Like? Family Wellbeing Service aims to provide early support to families to prevent them reaching crisis point. We make it easy for families to reach out for support, in ways that feels non-stigmatising and non-threatening. Children and families can get access to trauma informed support, at the right time and in the right place.

Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, Kevin Stewart MSP, said: “Fit Like? is a really good example of whole-family support being delivered in a community setting and at an early stage. I was very pleased to be able to visit and to hear directly from parents about how they and their children are being supported by this service

"The Fit Like? hubs in Aberdeen are among hundreds of locally-based services, with a focus on early intervention and prevention, funded through the Scottish Government’s community mental health and wellbeing fund.

“Establishing these services is a significant step forward in supporting the mental health of our children and young people, making sure they receive the help they need when they need it.”

Iona Mitchell, Assistant Director at Children 1st in Aberdeen, said: “We were delighted that the Minister took time out of his busy schedule to visit the Fit Like? hub in Balgownie to listen to how vital the support provided by Fit Like? Aberdeen is for the families that we support. We were encouraged by his recognition of the challenges that children and young people currently face around mental wellbeing.

“It’s not easy for families to reach out for support. That’s why Children 1st Fit Like? Aberdeen offers informal ways for families to access trauma informed support through activities like monthly drop-in Saturday sessions, supper clubs and holiday programmes.

“By offering wrap around support to prevent families in distress from reaching crisis point, Fit Like? Aberdeen partners, including Children 1st, are delivering on the Promise and fulfilling children’s rights.”

You can find out more about the Children 1st Aberdeen Fit Like? hubs on the Children 1st website.