A NURSE has praised young people with mental health issues for training her and other staff to understand anxiety and depression.

Christine Fogarty, a neonatal ward manager at Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, hailed the positive impact training from members of mental health organisations Healthy Teen Minds and Common Room has had on staff.

More than 150 staff members, from ward clerks to healthcare assistants, have attended the one day “We Can Talk” training session, with 96 per cent saying it would make “a big difference to how they would do their job.”

Ms Fogarty said: “The training has been really useful for me. I hold a senior position and I’ve not had mental health training before. I can see how this will be really useful when caring as well as in supporting my staff to do so.”

Grace Jeremy, 24, an adviser with Common Room, leads staff training sessions.

She said: “Young people want hospital staff to acknowledge and address their mental health needs.

“The majority prefer to self-treat when possible as they have had bad hospital experiences in the past. What’s really sad is that many say when they attend A&E they do so with feelings of shame and unworthiness.

“Young people in a mental health crisis attending A&E want exactly what anyone attending A&E would want; appropriate care, to be involved in decisions, empathy, understanding and a non-judgmental approach.

“From what I have seen and heard in the sessions staff really care and want to support people better, and I am thrilled to be helping to make this happen."

Staff at Barts NHS Health Trust hospitals felt they were unsure how to respond properly to children and young people with mental health problems.

The number of children and young people in England being referred for specialist mental health support has risen by 22,000 over the last three years according to the latest NHS England figures.