In 2015/16 we successfully piloted the Mental Health Services and Schools Link programme in 255 schools across 27 CCGS. We delivered the workshops to 570 education and 340 mental health professionals across England.
The pilot was independently evaluated by Ecorys and was shown to led to widespread improvements in joint working between schools and CYPMHS, despite a varied local baseline. Key elements included:
- strategic leadership from health and education
- single points of contact / access
- clearly defined protocols and pathways to specialist support
- making best use of existing resources (local networks)
There were quantifiable improvements in the:
- frequency of contact between pilot schools and NHS CYPMHS
- quality of joint working relationships
- knowledge and awareness of mental health issues among school leads
The evaluation of the phase 2 of the programme (September 2017-March 2019) is being conducted by Ecorys. The full report will be available here in autumn 2019. This will also contain evidence from a concurrent study following-up schools involved in the pilot phase of the evaluation to assess sustainability, scalability and learnings over the longer-term.
The Anna Freud Centre will publish our report on phase 2 of the programme in May 2019.