Stroud Schools Mental Health Pilot – Glos. – (NCCMH)

In 2016, Gloucestershire participated in an NHS England and Department for Education pilot on joined up approaches between schools and children and young people’s mental health services. 14 schools in the Stroud locality participated, including primary, secondary, Special School and Alternative provision schools, and a further education college. The pilot established a core offer for schools to access advice, support and training from children and young people’s mental health services. It aimed to tackle mental health stigma and deliver a coordinated service to ensure earlier and improved identification of children and young people requiring mental health support.

Co-Production

  • From start: No
  • During process: Yes
  • In evaluation: No

Evaluation

  • Peer: No
  • Academic: Yes
  • PP Collaborative: No

Find out more

In 2016, Gloucestershire participated in an NHS England and Department for Education pilot on joined up approaches between schools and children and young people’s mental health services. 14 schools in the Stroud locality participated, including primary, secondary, Special School and Alternative provision schools, and a further education college. The pilot established a core offer for schools to access advice, support and training from children and young people’s mental health services. It aimed to tackle mental health stigma and deliver a coordinated service to ensure earlier and improved identification of children and young people requiring mental health support.

 

Advice and consultation

Central to the success of the pilot was the employment of two additional primary mental health workers who made fortnightly visits to schools to provide advice for teaching staff, 1:1 and group support for children and young people. This enabled the schools to access a named mental health worker that got to know the school and their needs. There was also a practitioner advice line available so that school staff could discuss queries about students. A specialist senior educational psychologist was also commissioned to support the pilot by developing whole school approaches to improving mental health and helping to streamline training. Being ‘up-skilled’ enabled school staff to support those students with some mental health needs within school and raised confidence in when and how to make referrals to children and young people’s mental health services without feeling they were being asked to act out of their professional role.

 

Working with the wider system

The training offer for mental health support was also simplified, with links to training and information on services now available via Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning’s website. There has been increased collaboration, communication and closer working across all agencies, for instance joint visits from educational psychology, school nursing and children and young people’s mental health services, and co-development of mental health materials for webpages and e-learning.

 

What makes this service an example of positive practice?

The whole school community has been engaged with the pilot and an independent evaluation reported the pilot was popular across all stakeholder groups consulted. Outcomes include:

  • improved relationships between schools and the local children and young people’s mental health service, and communication and collaboration across the wider system
  • improved understanding of mental health and mental health services by teachers and schools, including knowledge of referral routes and how to manage distress
  • improved identification of needs and provision of support, including specialist help where needed.
  • changes to school approaches and systems including increased delivery of internal support strategies and increased mental health related activity in schools
  • a raised profile for mental health and a change in the language used around mental health issues in schools, which is likely to help reduce stigma and enable children and young people to better communicate their feelings.

As a result of the evaluation this approach is being rolled out incrementally across the county.

 

Further details

Commissioning and funding Jointly funded by Department for Education, NHS England and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group
ProvidersSchools

2gether NHS Foundation Trust

Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning

Voluntary and community sector agencies

Workforce (WTE)0.4 educational psychology

2 primary mental health workers (band 6)

Population size119508 (whole population)
AgeAge 4 to 21
CaseloadOver 6 months, 419 children and young people were seen by the primary mental health team in 14 schools, 271 subsequently had their caseload closed without any need for input from the specialist services.

 

Prevention and resilience – universal and early intervention for at risk 
Access and advice – consultation lines, triage and signposting
Early support and brief interventions
  

 

 

 

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