| In 2016, Future in Mind awarded Wirral CAMHS Primary Mental Health Team (PMHT) funding for their service transformation plans. In order to better support their pupils, schools in Wirral said they would need information related to signposting, immediate access to CAMHS advice, resources and training. The team developed a new approach which focused on a training and consultation model in a bid to support 131 schools & parents, social care, health and third sector agencies within the Wirral.We currently offer the following:
Our current flagship co-produced work is ‘The Peer Education Project’ which has been running for five years. Following community consultations offered to all schools in the locality, young people told us they wanted to be educated about mental health by their peers. To meet this need, we co-developed a programme whereby senior students receive professional training in Mental Health First Aide then work with the team to co-produce school-wide education sessions delivered by the students to the wider student body. The project develops young people’s understanding of mental health while also promoting resilience and reducing stigma. Evaluations show significant reductions in stigma and an increase in understanding around mental health as well as subjectively reporting that information feels more relevant to them when communicated by peers.
We have recently launched ‘Helping your child thrive’ workshops for parents co-produced with parents. Following a number of focus groups we identified that parents were requesting training around resilience. Since April 2018 we have delivered the workshop to over 700 parents with evaluations being overwhelmingly positive in terms of increased understanding and confidence around mental health. We are now in the process of training parents to co-facilitate these ongoing workshops in schools and community hubs.
We distribute our resource pack (formatted according to THRIVE model) which contains signposting information to young people, schools, parents and the CYP workforce. The resource pack contains a list of websites, self-help resources, organisations as well as crisis support.
The team work in partnership with local schools with each school assigned a named PMHW. We work to develop the whole school approach to mental health, thereby improving resilience and emotional wellbeing of young people in schools. Working in this way often allows us to link in with other professionals from the CYP workforce within the school environments and with our focus on partnership working ensures holistic information about the young person is made available to all professionals involved in a case.
After a round of community consultations, one of the key needs parents and partner agencies identified was for immediate advice and support. To this end, we began to provide access to immediate advice by launching an advice line (open 9am-10pm Monday to Friday and 12pm – 8pm Sat-Sun). This advice line is open to anyone who would like support regarding a child or young person’s mental health. We complete approximately 2000 telephone consultations per year. The outcomes of which are direct referrals into CAMHS, telephone support, signposting to other services or provision of resources.
The PMHT also delivers a minimum of 2 training sessions every month. In a true partnership model these training days are co-facilitated by head teachers, wellbeing professionals employed by schools and/or service users. The attendees include teaching staff, pastoral workers, social care and third sector agencies whose primary aim is to support CYP. Topics include anxiety, attachment, challenging behaviour, parental mental health, Next-Step cards (communication tool) self-harm and suicide, eating disorders, learning disabilities, bereavement, skills groups in schools (Managing emotions & theraplay based groups), trauma, mental health awareness & resilience.
We also offer whole school mental health awareness training
Co-production is a vital part of the PMHT approach; we run our localities ‘Listen Up Group’ which is a forum for young service users to review and feedback on developments in CAMHS. This has resulted in co-produced designs for trust buildings, routing service documentation and our ‘MyMind’ website. We are currently facilitating consultations between graphic-designers and service users to coproduce artwork for the relaunch of our site. Over the last year we have introduced a further listen-up group for parents.
Quality improvement is embedded in the culture of the project. We regularly and routinely use PDSA & reflective cycles, evaluations and LEAN thinking, to guide continuous improvements.
Following the set-up of the team and implementation of these co-produced projects we have seen consistent positive outcomes, including 40% reduction in children and young people being admitted to paediatric wards for risk assessments, a 2% reduction in young people being referred for therapeutic treatment, and we are 7% behind the national average of increasing referrals consistent over several years.