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Dame Kelly Holmes Champions New Mental Health Centre for Young People at Launch Event

Picture of the front of the Junction 17 building from an external view.

A new multimillion mental health centre for young people officially opens its doors today with a launch event where Dame Kelly Holmes will be sharing her experiences of mental health.

Dame Kelly Holmes despite her battle with mental health issues gained twelve major championship medals from the Olympic Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Championships. Staff of Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust along with other invited guests will be present to celebrate with Dame Kelly Holmes the opening of the new facility, Junction 17.

The new centre provides specialist treatment for young people with severe mental health problems including eating disorders, self-harming behaviour, mood disorders, psychosis and poor coping skills such as misusing substances, and is be located in Prestwich, Greater Manchester.

The centre will offer more young people, their families or carers, from Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan, support to manage their mental health conditions in an attractive, modern and therapeutic environment.

The spacious and brighter unit on which work began in March 2012 encompasses 20 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, leisure rooms, a kitchen and a day area for in-patients to receive therapy, consultations and support. The centre also includes an attached education facility, Cloughside College, to ensure the young people’s education continues whilst receiving treatment.

Bev Humphrey, Chief Executive at Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said:

“The condition of the clinical environments has a massive influence on how patients feel. Research has even suggested that recovery times can improve when patients are cared for in an attractive and therapeutic environment.

“This is equally true in the care of people with mental health problems, so dramatically improving the unit where we treat young people with a range of mental health conditions will have a real impact on their recovery and mental wellbeing.

“Detecting and treating mental health problems as early as possible gives young people a better start in life. As a trust we are dedicated to investing in mental health services for young people and the new centre is our commitment to improve the quality of mental health services for young people in Greater Manchester.

“We help young people to build their coping skills, confidence and resilience, improve relationships with those in their lives that can support them and build a lasting plan for the future. In our aim to achieve this, we hope to significantly reduce future distress, increase the chance of the young people being able to manage the ups and downs life more effectively and ultimately have a positive and productive future.”

The service offered at Junction 17 (in its previous setting the McGuinness Unit) was also home to the hit BBC 3 Documentary 'Don’t Call Me Crazy'.

The programme gave a voice to the brave young people who took part as they used their own words and experiences to speak frankly and openly about what it is like to receive specialist mental health care.

The hit documentary was part of the mental health season ‘It’s a Mad World’ on BBC3 which aimed to tackle the stigma often associated with mental health problems and to shed light on various aspects of mental health.

The Junction 17 team aims to spread the word about mental health in order to help put an end to stigma as currently 1-in-10 young people will experience a mental health problem.

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