Agenda item - School Mental Health Project Update

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Agenda item

School Mental Health Project Update

Report of the Executive Director, Families, Children & Learning (copy attached)

 

Contact Officers:

Tracey Williams, Assistant Principal Educational Psychologist               

 

Kerry Clarke, Children, Young People & Schools Public Health Commissioner          

 

Gill Brooks, Children’s Commissioning Manager Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group

                                        

Ward(s) Affected: All Wards

 

Decision:

That the Committee -

 

(1)  Noted the impact from the joint work on:

·         Improving the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people;

·         Promoting early identification and providing effective interventions;

·         Reducing the need for referrals to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

 

(2)  Approved the extension of the pilot offer to all secondary schools in the city by April 2017.

Minutes:

49.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families, Children & Learning which informed the Committee about the evaluation by the University of Sussex and the Educational Psychology Service of the jointly commissioned Emotional Health and Wellbeing pilot project in schools. The report was introduced by, the Assistant Principal Educational Psychologist (BHCC), the Public Health Commissioner (BHCC), Children’s Commissioning Manager (Clinical Commissioning Group), Professor of Psychology (University of Sussex) and the Assistant Head Teacher (Dorothy Stringer).

 

49.2    Councillor Phillips was pleased to note that the pilot scheme was being rolled out to other schools. However, she was concerned over the future of CAMHS if staff at schools were duplicating their work. The Assistant Principal Educational Psychologist said the involvement of schools was an opportunity for early intervention, rather than an intention to replace the work of CAMHS.

 

49.3      Councillor Taylor asked if Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, Portslade Aldridge Community Academy or King’s School would become involved in the next phase of the pilot.  The Assistant Director, Families, Children and Learning (Education and Skills) said that she had discussed this matter with the schools at a recent meeting, and they had all said that they would like to be engaged as the pilot went forward.

 

49.4    Councillor Penn said that improving access to support and talking about mental illness was a positive thing, and it was good that schools were working with each other to address the needs of children. One of the issues affecting children was anxiety and she asked if more support would now be available under the pilot scheme. The Assistant Head at Dorothy Stringer said that that was one area which was being addressed, with training being provided for staff to enable them to support children. This subject was also covered in Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) lessons.

 

49.5    Councillor Brown asked how many children in the project were referred to CAMHS, and whether those referrals were evenly spread across the schools. The Children’s Commissioning Manager said that she didn’t have the exact figures at the meeting, but it was around 45/50%. The number of children, and which schools they were from, could be provided after the meeting.

 

49.6    Mr Jones referred to the ‘I am Whole’ campaign and asked if it had been promoted in schools. The Assistant Head Teacher at Dorothy Stringer said that it had. The Professor of Psychology (Sussex University) said that it was important that everyone at schools were engaged, saying that the more mental health issues were discussed the more it would be de-stigmatised.

 

49.7    Councillor Wealls suggested that it would be useful to have more information to be able to judge the effectiveness of the pilot. The Professor of Psychology (Sussex University) advised that the results were still being analysed. However, as the initial pilot scheme only had a small number of children, any analyse of the effectiveness would be more reliable once more were involved.

 

49.8    Mr Glazebrook said that the Community and Voluntary Sector were pleased to have supported and been involved in the pilot scheme.

 

49.9    Councillor Horan asked whether there would be particular provision for female pupils. The Professor of Psychology (Sussex University) said that gender was a relevant consideration but, whilst having sensitivity to different patterns of behaviour and gender, he was unsure if there should be different interactions for different sexes.

 

49.10  RESOLVED: That the Committee -

 

(1)  Noted the impact from the joint work on:

·         Improving the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people;

·         Promoting early identification and providing effective interventions;

·         Reducing the need for referrals to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

 

(2)  Approved the extension of the pilot offer to all secondary schools in the city by April 2017.

Supporting documents:

 


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