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Have your say: Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision green paper

The proposals in the green paper are open for consultation. We welcome views from schools and other professionals.

Please submit your feedback to be included in the cross-agency Hertfordshire response by email here by Friday 16 February 2018.

Key proposals:

  1. Each school to identify and train a designated senior lead for mental health.
  2. New mental health support teams
  3. Reduction in waiting times for NHS services

The government will seek to appoint ‘trailblazer’ areas to operationalise the proposals from 2019.  The ambition is for between a fifth and a quarter of all areas to operationalise the proposals by 2022/23. The government is pledging an additional £300 million to fund the proposals.

1. School mental health leads - commentary

  • This role will take on responsibility for developing the whole school approach, identifying pupils with difficulties, knowledge and liaison with local services, co-ordination of school-based interventions, support for staff development and monitoring of outcomes.
  • The government proposes to incentivise this role.
  • Training for the lead will be explored. 

What are we already doing in Hertfordshire about this?

  • We currently have 420 schools with an identified mental health lead. 
  • We have a robust existing training course for mental health leads.
  • We have produced quality assurance guidance for schools in relation to commissioning training.
  • We have an online toolkit for mental health leads including training slides, referral forms, information about services etc.
  • We have a whole school approach self review tool and are launching a kitemark in the spring to recognise good practice.
  • We have developed a range of documents and processes to enhance communication between schools and services.
  • We are working on a project to support schools to collect mental health outcome data and use it to inform practice.

2. Mental health support teams - commentary

  • New teams will provide CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) for low mood and anxiety as well as family-based behaviour change interventions (which can be delivered by school staff) and a group-based intervention around body image.
  • The proposal is very similar to the community wellbeing workers currently funded by Health Education England and hosted by Families First / Step 2.
  • There is an expectation that the new teams will provide training and support to a range of other professionals and agencies.

Wider action to support CYP:

  • Mental health awareness training should be offered to every school – we currently offer this to whole staff groups or upskill leads to deliver themselves.  We also provide access to the two day evidence based mental health first aid course.
  • The report mentions improvements to initial teacher training, implementation of peer support programmes, addressing the impact of the internet on children and young people's (CYP) mental health, support for improving engagement with families, reducing stigma and prevention models.
  • The report suggests that further papers will recommend the additional funding of parent support programmes within local areas.
  • Additional work to support 16-25 year olds is needed.
  • The SEND policy can be utilised to better manage expectations about what schools can provide to support mental health.  A piece of work to enhance schools’ local offer is planned in Hertfordshire.
  • Mental wellbeing will be taught as part of the new PSHE curriculum.
  • Ofsted are reviewing how they will add rigour to school improvement around supporting mental health.  A local outcome data project will support schools to provide robust data as part of the school improvement and inspection process.

Reduction in waiting times for NHS services - commentary

  • The increased support for mental health linked to schools and colleges will be complemented by swifter access to specialist NHS services for those who need it.
  • As waiting times for the eating disorder services have been reduced, so will waiting times for all CYP who need help from mental health services to access treatment.
  • New ‘trailblazer’ pilot schemes will test approaches so that CYP can access services within four weeks.

What are we already doing in Hertfordshire about this?

  • Waiting times for services in Hertfordshire have significantly improved in the last two years as a result of the CAMHS Transformation programme funding.
  • The acute hospital crisis team now offers an extended service for 0-18-year-olds from 9am to 9pm, 365 days a year.
  • More and more CYP are using online support service Kooth, with well over 4,200 CYP registered. There has also been in increase in the number of CYP accessing Step 2, average wait time to first appointment is 3 weeks and to intervention 5 weeks.
  • Early intervention provision is currently out to tender, with a new service due to be established by autumn 2018

You can read the full green paper here