Teens in Crisis plus (TIC+) – Glos. – (NCCMH)

Founded in 1993, Teens in Crisis (TIC+) provides counselling and support to approximately 1500 children, young people and their families in Gloucestershire each year. In 2016 they launched an online counselling service to complement the already existing face-to-face service. They have developed psychoeducation workshops and deliver these for children and young people, and parents and professionals. Teens in Crisis are also an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Co-Production

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

Evaluation

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

Find out more

Teens in Crisis plus (TIC+)

Founded in 1993, Teens in Crisis (TIC+) provides counselling and support to approximately 1500 children, young people and their families in Gloucestershire each year.  In 2016 they launched an online counselling service to complement the already existing face-to-face service. They have developed psychoeducation workshops and deliver these for children and young people, and parents and professionals. Teens in Crisis are also an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Access

Children and young people, and their families, can self-refer by phone or via a secure-encrypted online text-chat referral service accessed directly from their webpage. A receptionist is on duty each evening (6 to 9 pm) for those who may find it difficult to get in touch with the service during school or work hours. Those who find it difficult to initiate phone calls can send a text or an email and the service will return their call. The online referral platform also encourages self-referral for children and young people who tend to avoid phone calls. Most face-to-face counsellors are peripatetic and can travel to see young people at their school or near to where they live, making the service more accessible for young people who may not be able to travel to a central location.  Face-to-face counselling is provided anytime during the day and early evening (8am to 9pm) and weekend appointments are considered where necessary. Online counselling is available in evenings and weekends.

TIC+ have a dual access pathway, offering a choice of face-to-face or online counselling.  A principle aim of introducing online counselling was to reach more young people, including those who may otherwise have chosen not to access or engage with counselling due to embarrassment, social exclusion, transport issues, or difficulties committing to regular sessions. Most young people have access to the internet on their phones or on personal computers providing them with an easily accessible gateway to mental health support and Tic+ have found that it is often preferred by those with physical disabilities, hearing impairment and problems such as agoraphobia and social anxiety. Current figures suggest that 50% of young people accessing the service choose online counselling, with 50% opting for face to face.

Collaborative working

TIC+ have established a strong partnership with Gloucestershire NHS Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS) and have a contract to see 240 children and young people a year. CYPS and TIC+ have developed an information leaflet for GPs and professionals to help them make an informed decision about which service to make a referral to. However, TIC+ counsellors can also make direct referrals to the CYPS for specialist assessments and to step up interventions as needed, and vice-versa. In this way, if a child or young person is referred to the NHS service whose needs would be best met with counselling, they can be directly referred into TIC+.  Collaborative working has been aided by regular review meetings between the two organisations and the introduction of nhs.net email for TIC+ staff allowing them to send and receive confidential information where necessary.

Outcome monitoring

The service uses quantitative and qualitative measures recommended by the CYP-IAPT programme throughout the counselling process to track wellbeing and progress. Measures used include the ‘YP CORE’ for assessing psychological distress, ‘How was this meeting?’ and ‘Score-15’ for family work. They also use an Experience of Service questionnaire. For the online text chat counselling, TIC+ use a before and after 1-10 rating scale. They also ask the young person to rate the helpfulness of the counselling on a scale of 1-10.

Delivering an online service

TIC+ have been delivering an online counselling service funded by Gloucestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group since July 2016. An important consideration has been information security. Users answer a series of security questions on entering the online waiting room, allowing counsellors to verify their identity without the need for personal information to be revealed online. The service also uses a super-secure end-point to end-point web platform, using advanced encryption technology and ensures the chat transcript is not accessible to or stored by a third party. Once the child or young person logs out, the chat will also disappear from their own device. Personal information is not stored online and counsellors work from the office using encrypted hard drive password protected computers. All online counsellors have received training to work online with young people and receive supervision from specialist online supervisors experienced and qualified to supervise online work with young people.

What makes this service an example of positive practice?

We are very proud of our counselling and administrative teams. Of course they have all the necessary professional qualifications, supervision, DBS etc., but more than anything else they have chosen to work for TIC+ because they care; for them it’s not just a job, it’s a vocation, they are passionate about helping children and young people. Many of them go way beyond the call of duty giving many voluntary hours to provide the level of service that has, over the years, built a reputation which means young people, parents, carers and professionals trust and use the service.  TIC+ has been able to significantly increase the numbers of young people seen for face to face counselling since April 2016 due to a grant from the Gloucestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.

We are privileged to say that in the 24 years since our inception we have never had to turn away a child or a young person who has asked for our help on the basis of cost.

In 2017 we launched a specialist training course accredited by the National Counselling Society to equip counsellors to work ethically, safely and effectively, with children and young people in Gloucestershire. We have plans to increase our psycho-educational and preventative work in schools. We are expanding our family counselling team and have a vision to be able to offer this service across the county. We are also investigating additional ways we can engage young people using digital platforms, who might otherwise not reach out for the help they need.

Further details

Commissioning Gloucestershire CCG and service level agreements with schools
ProvidersTeens in Crisis plus
Workforce 0.05 clinical psychology, 50 therapists and counsellors (part-time posts, 10 whole time equivalent), 1 director of counselling (full time), 1 director of operations (part time), 1 counselling services director (part time), counselling coordinator (part time), counselling team leaders (part time), 4 reception/administrators (part time ), finance and human resources (part time), fundraiser (part time) and project and marketing co-ordinator (part time)
Population sizeWhole population – 623129, under 18 – 133697 (Office of National Statistics 2016 mid-year population estimates for Gloucestershire
Caseload1889 referrals taken 1548 engaged in 2016/17

 

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

 

 

 

 

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