Creating an innovative youth mental health service in the United Kingdom: The Norfolk Youth Service

Jon Wilson (Lead Author), Tim Clarke, Rebecca Lower, Uju Ugochukwu, Sarah Maxwell, Jo Hodgekins, Karen Wheeler, Andy Goff, Robert Mack, Rebecca Horne, David Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Aims: Young people attempting to access mental health services in the United Kingdom often find traditional models of care outdated, rigid, inaccessible and unappealing. Policy recommendations, research and service user opinion suggest that reform is needed to reflect the changing needs of young people. There is significant motivation in the UK to transform mental health service for young people and this paper aims to describe the rationale, development and implementation of a novel youth mental health service in the UK, the Norfolk Youth Service.

Methods: The Norfolk Youth Service model is described as a service model case study. The service rationale, national and local drivers, principles, aims, model, research priorities and future directions are reported.

Results: The Norfolk Youth Service is an innovative example of mental health transformation in the United Kingdom, comprising a pragmatic, assertive and ‘youth friendly’ service for young people aged 14-25 that transcends traditional service boundaries. The service was developed in collaboration with young people and partnership agencies and is based upon an engaging and inclusive ethos. The service is social recovery oriented, evidence based and aims to satisfy recent policy guidance.

Conclusions: The redesign and transformation of youth mental health services in the United Kingdom is long overdue. The Norfolk Youth Service represents an example of reform that aims to meet the developmental and transitional needs of young people, while remaining youth oriented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)740-746
Number of pages7
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue number4
Early online date4 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Adolescent
  • Child Health
  • Community Mental Health Services
  • Mental Health
  • Young Adult

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