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Title: How can Children and Adolescents' Mental Health Services and Educational Psychology Services work together more effectively to address the mental health needs of young people in school?
Author: Hulme, Hannah
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 4644
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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Following the current Prime Minister Theresa May’s January 2017 announcement, that mental health support should be delivered in ‘classrooms’ and the 2015 Department for Health and National Health Service England paper ‘Future in Mind’, which sets out the government’s strategic plan to improve Children’s Mental Health, the message from policy and politicians is clear that school staff need to respond to the mental health needs of Children and Young People (CYP). There has been some recognition that the established Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) services cannot respond to rising need. However school staff have to endure: “constant professional challenges….in trying to make sense of competing legislation and policy pressures, while straining to maintain their own passion and purpose.” Corcoran and Finney 2015 In the face of these professional challenges and cuts to education, school staff are concerned that they do not have the capacity or the skills to meet the demand for mental health support (Kidger et al, 2010). Educational Psychology is a small but thriving profession, that has sought to define its purpose since its creation (Fallon et al, 2010), but is primarily concerned with supporting children, young people and families to realise their learning potential and increase their well-being. The training, that Educational Psychologists receive, gives them the ability to support staff to deliver effective well-being interventions and to provide direct therapeutic or systemic work with schools and families. In addition to this, Educational Psychologists are familiar with school systems, routines and educational terminology. This research investigates the title question through the gathering of interview data from representatives of CAMHS, EPS (Educational Psychology Services) and school. Research questions that formed the basis of semi-structured interview schedule were: • What affects the mental health of CYP? • What is effective support for CYP’s mental health needs? • What are the barriers to effective joint work? • What are the facilitators of effective joint work between school, CAMHS and EPS? • What implications do examples of effective practice in joint work have for EPs? Analysis of the data was performed using Thematic Analysis, as described by Braun and Clarke (2006). Data was sought from representatives of three different stakeholder groups, who were working together as part of the jointly launched NHS England and Department for Education; Mental Health Services and Schools Link Project. The data gathered and the themes identified reflect the many influences and systems which shape mental health in young people and the response to mental health needs e.g. pressure to achieve in school, social media, knowledge of mental health, access to support services and resources, to name only a few. Three main themes were identified, the first titled ‘Joint Working’, identifies common facilitators of joint work and barriers to joint work, as well as areas the participants identified as areas for development. The second theme; ‘Mental Health in Schools’, highlighted stressors and supporters of Children and Young People’s (CYP) Mental Health. The third theme; ‘Educational Psychologist’s (EPs) Role in Supporting Mental Health’, considers the role of EP and looks at both the functions of the role and others’ understanding of it. The data from this research would suggest that issues of language, understanding of one another’s roles and professional boundaries (Salmon, 2004) can be overcome through joint work and consultation. There were even instances, within the data, that suggested that the joint work increased school staffs’ capacity to respond to CYP’s mental health difficulties. Referrals to specialist services were improved when school staff were given the opportunity to discuss cases with specialists. The act of joint work appeared to remove the barriers to effective joint working. The new concepts and understandings that developed supported effective working between professionals and shared ‘goals’ for action emerged.
Supervisor: Fogg, Penny Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.C.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available