Description/background to TaMHS
The Suffolk Targeted Mental Health in Schools (TaMHS) Pathfinder Project was established to provide a range of direct and indirect services to promote positive mental health for children and young people (CYP) aged 5 -13 years old. Following consultations with public health and based on the prevalence of mental health needs for CYP, the project targets 28 schools across Felixstowe (11 schools) and Sudbury (17 schools) clusters.
The Project is jointly owned by Suffolk PCT and Suffolk County Council Children and Young People’s Directorate. The main drivers for the project are the fact that support for the emotional and mental well being for CYP in schools is a priority of the Suffolk CAMHS Strategy and is included within Suffolk’s Children and Young People’s Plan.
Suffolk TaMHS commenced pathfinder work in April 2008 as part of the national phase one rollout. The project team was recruited and in place by 1st October 2008 and direct work with target schools commenced in earnest during the latter half of the autumn term 2008
- The Suffolk Targeted Mental Health in Schools (TaMHS) Pathfinder is one of 150 projects nationally that are funded by the DCSF (now Department for Education ).
- The Suffolk TaMHS pathfinder project is a partnership between Suffolk County Council Children & Young Peoples’ Services & Suffolk PCT.
- The Suffolk pathfinder has been developed over 2 academic years from September 2008- July 2010 and continues to be offered as a model for targeted support for schools in the Felixstowe and Sudbury clusters until the end of March 2011.
- The drivers for the Suffolk TaMHS pathfinder are that support for the emotional and mental well being of children & young people in schools is a priority for the Suffolk CAMHS Strategy Group and is included in the SCC Children & Young Peoples Plan
- Provide a range of direct and indirect services to promote positive mental health for children & young people.
- Ensure that interventions are evidence based and target areas of early intervention & prevention
Children and young people aged 5 -13 from the Felixstowe and Sudbury clusters whose:
- Emotional wellbeing is impaired
- Who are at risk of developing mental health problems
- Who are excluded from education
- Who are at risk of offending
- Who are on the edge of care
- Children who have mild to moderate learning disabilities
19 schools in the Sudbury cluster:
2 x high schools
5 x middle schools
10 x primary schools
1 x Special school (2009/10 only)
1 x Pupil Referral Unit (2009/10 only)
11 schools in the Felixstowe cluster:
2 x high schools
7 x primary/junior schools
2 x infant schools
The Suffolk TaMHS Model
The Suffolk TaMHS project team has developed a model for early intervention that builds on:
- Existing networks
- Partnership working
- Services and provision in place within target cluster schools
- TaMHS PMHW’s work directly with schools to build staff capacity and confidence to provide support to children and young people who have become of a concern within school.
The Suffolk TaMHS Model- Modified CAMHS in schools
Suffolk TaMHS has developed a model for early intervention which builds on existing networks, partnership working, services and provision in place within target school clusters. Two PMHW’s have been recruited to work directly with schools to build staff capacity and give them the confidence to provide appropriate support to children & young people who have become of a concern within school.
The Suffolk TaMHS model has been developed in 3 stages:
Stage 1: Raising awareness
- Delivery of Everybody’s Business mental health awareness course to develop a good basic understanding of mental health within school and the wider school community.
- Agree individual school action plans for 2008/9 based on an audit of school provision and feedback from Everybody’s Business.
Stage 2: Building confidence and skills
- Delivery of workshops, skills development opportunities on a whole school and cluster basis on a range of themes and issues identified by school staff
- Practical support, information, guidance and training on a 1-1 basis for school staff in the use of toolkits and resources to enhance support in the classroom
- Ongoing clinical support and supervision for school staff
- Information re sign posting and referral to external agencies
- Joint partnership with Parenting Strategy Group to provide accredited training in parenting programmes for professionals working with parents and families.
- Ongoing clinical supervision for external partners working with school staff to support CYP and families.
- Partnership working with third sector organisations to develop and deliver enhanced support for CYP and their parents through holistic health and wellbeing programmes during the school holidays.
Stage 3: Appropriate referrals for CAMHS
- Consultation in relation to a child or young person who has been identified as having social, emotional & behavioural needs
- Observation in the classroom leading to consultation and direct assessment of a pupil
- Choice referral to CAMHS by TaMHS PMHW or guidance and information for parents to request a referral via their GP to CAMHS.