Primary Mental Health Workers in CAMHS Team Helen Hipkiss CAMHS Manager Walsall SHA/NIMHE Development Lead Thanks to Dr. G. Urquhart Law
National Context • Prevalence of emotional & behavioural disorders is increasing. • Concern about inability of specialist child and adolescent mental health services to meet growing need and demands. • Results = lengthy waiting lists, unmet need, deterioration in mental well-being, huge costs to services and children and families.
Local Context • Estimated 11,000 children (0-16) in Walsall suffer with emotional and behavioural disorders (varying severity) (CAMHS Strategy, 2003). • Lengthy waiting lists for designated ‘routine’ referrals. • Population burden of mental health falls at Tier 1. • Sure Start Evaluation of needs.
Government’s View of Tier 1 • Identify mental health difficulties early in their development. • Offer advice. • Stem the flow of referrals. • Reduce stigmatisation. • Reduce social exclusion. • Prevent continuation of mental health difficulties into adult life and into next generation.
But… • Much of the good quality work of Tier 1 professionals goes unrecognised and unsupported. • Tier 1 professionals in a prime position to assess, identify and manage (or refer) child, adolescent and family mental health need key to a comprehensive CAMHS.
So… • Moving into Tier 1 is, therefore, “the major priority for CAMHS”, if the majority of mental health needs in children, young people and their families are to be met. Primary Mental Health Workers for CAMHS
Where we want to be… • CAMHS to be more available and accessible to Tier 1 staff and children/families. • Mental health needs of children and families to be met in the most appropriate, timely and effective way. • Services to be culturally and demographically sensitive, community needs-led and pro-active (i.e., preventative/promotion). • Supporting tier 1 organisations in managing CAMH.
Primary Mental Health Workers in CAMHS Team: Central Role (Walsall CAMHS Strategy, 2003)
Primary Mental Health Workers in CAMHS: The Nature • Senior practitioners. • Variety of professional backgrounds promoting multi-agency work from the outset. • Rich skills mix. • Strengthening, supporting & enhancing service provision at Tier 1. • Closing gap between Tier 1 & Tier 2/3 services (in both directions).
PMHWT: Helping a culture change Child and family mental health is everyone’s responsibility… …and everyone can contribute given the right training and support.