The COVID pandemic required significant changes in the provision of youth mental health services during the period of lockdown/stay at home orders . Things which were identified as changing significantly during this period included: service via telehealth; working from home, split teams (to reduce infection risk), and social (physical) distancing . An online survey of clinicians was conducted involving both closed and open ended questions . Service staff identified significant benefits from the changes to the way services were delivered as well as some impediments and challenges . Advantages in the new way of working revolved around the flexibility of the virtual service, with appointments online enabling families to more easily overcome issues of transport, work commitments, childcare and disruption to routines and timing . The online platforms also enabled some family members to participate who otherwise might not have been able to come to appointments in person . Disadvantages included where there were issues with availability and access to appropriate technology or private spaces, or when the young person was very young, very unwell, unstable, isolated or at higher risk . This study suggests that telehealth and flexible working arrangements have become an essential new element in the clinicians' toolkit to be offered either alone or as a supplement to in person interventions.
Index: Flexible work arrangements, Service re-orientation, Telehealth, Telepsychiatry, Youth mental health