A collective of local professionals were brought together as a sub group from the Future in Mind meeting around November 2016 to look at a hub and spoke type model for schools to access appropriate and timely support for mental health and wellbeing of pupils. The hub and spoke idea has developed into a guidance document for schools to support school staff to access appropriate services for children and young people in a timely way to support their mental health and wellbeing.
What We Did
A collective of local professionals were brought together as a sub group from the Future in Mind meeting around November 2016 to look at a hub and spoke type model for schools to access appropriate and timely support for mental health and wellbeing of pupils. The hub and spoke idea has developed into a guidance document for schools to support school staff to access appropriate services for children and young people in a timely way to support their mental health and wellbeing. The document is 26 page guidance toolkit and includes 8 pathways to support all aspects of mental health and wellbeing including support for ASD, ADHD, eating disorders and 5 more areas of emotional health issues. This led to a local conference in March 2017 attended by 90+ local professionals to launch the pathways, gain feedback and start of a Mental Health Champion network. This network has already grown to a collective of 100 local professionals signed up to be a Mental Health champion in their school/agency.
Wider Active Support
The original development subgroup included a head teacher, SENDCo and support staff from a local primary school, a SENDCo from a local high school, a paediatrician from the local hospital, primary mental health workers and a parent/National Autistic Society parent supporter (among a lot of other roles she holds) this work was supported by commissioners too.
The whole document has been made in collaboration and the conference allowed us to consult local professionals and amend the document to their needs. A few local young people were also in attendance at the conference and their views were added. The document has been shared with many local teams and is due to be published in June 2017 following 3 months of consultation and joint working since the conference in March 2017 to complete the guidance document.
Looking Back/Challenges Faced
Many discussions were had between the different professionals in the sub group but no challenges as such were faced. We did expect challenge at the conference but other than constructive feedback the guidance was gratefully received and its release is highly anticipated in the area.
The development of the network is the key to the guidance being sustainable. The document itself will be amended every 6 months to stay up to date but the 100 strong network of Mental Health Champions will be the driving force of change in the local area. The network plan to engage as a group in person and via an email network. The group are eager to be access training and from this work Primary Mental Health Workers across Lancashire are being trained as trainers in Youth Mental Health First Aid to roll out training to professionals. Other commissioners across Lancashire are also interested in rolling out this model/toolkit in other areas of Lancashire via the Primary Mental Health Worker role within CAMHS – a role which is there to promote mental health and wellbeing, train professionals and provide advice and guidance on CAMHS matters.
Plans are also in place to extend the document to cover services for young people out of the current CAMHS remit in our area – over 16 years old and possibly to be amended to support GP’s and doctors surgeries also.
Evaluation (Peer or Academic)
As this project is in its infancy this is still a future action. The network has already shown improved knowledge in accessing appropriate resources to support children, young people, parents and professionals alike.
As this project is in its infancy this is still a future action we hope to see a difference in the referrals to the CAMHS service and other health pathways by doing this work – promoting and educating professionals to submitting timely and appropriate referrals to services.
The essence of this work is sharing knowledge and skills to support our young people – this work is being shared far and wide across the district and the county via commissioners.
Is there any other information you would like to add?
It may be helpful to see the document and discuss further to fully understand the work undertaken and our vision for the future.