Mental health service transitions for young people
Working better together: Training
Local inter-agency multi-disciplinary training can assist in sharing practice knowledge, facilitate discussion, solve problems and promote networking.
Joint training brings staff together who might normally never meet - for example, staff working in CAMHS, AMHS, education, the voluntary sector, youth services and employment and housing services. However, it is not a panacea: to be effective any networks need to be nurtured. It should also be recognised that sometimes problems identified at training sessions cannot be solved and need to be followed up by managers.
If joint protocols are in place, they should form the basis for joint training. Lead professionals in non-health sectors may not be aware of protocols in the health service or of their role in service transition. Training staff in the process of working together models good practice. In terms of content:
- staff outside mental health services may lack confidence and need training about mental health
- mental health staff benefit from learning about the specific needs of young people and ways to engage with them
- all staff need up-to-date information about how to access each other's services, including those provided by the voluntary and third sectors, so that they can help young people use those services.
Areas suggested as being suitable for joint training in the practice enquiry included:
- engaging, listening to and working with young people, their families and carers
- a 'think about all the family' approach
- information about local protocols and eligibility criteria
- safeguarding and child protection
- sharing information, consent and confidentiality.
Other ways of creating interagency links
Suggestions in this area from the practice enquiry workshops included:
- local professional networks could be established to share best practice and joint learning
- CAMHS could consider providing an ongoing consultancy and liaison role to AMHS and non-specialist adult services on how to work with and listen to young people, and implement the 'think family' approach.
- City and Hackney extended CAMHS facilitates relationships and communication by working jointly with adult and other CAMHS services. It provides consultation and training to a range of staff based in CAMHS, AMHS and youth services, all with the aim of strengthening transitions.
- Morayshire has produced a 'principles of good care' document for all professionals working with young people at transition.
- Central Norfolk EIT trains staff in the ways in which adolescent development may affect engagement: this has influenced service design - for example, reminding young people about appointments via text and email (now standard practice in many organisations and services). The Norfolk team also trains staff to work with young people at the lower age range, and provides free training for Connexions and learning support staff. Central Norfolk Early Intervention team (CNEIT) has built a variety of links, especially with non-statutory and universal services.
- Youth Access has a national training programme.
- The transition group in Peterborough conducts joint training for the early intervention in psychosis service (CAMEO), CAMHS, youth offending and drug services.
- Leeds has a group of CAMHS and AMHS senior managers who meet every six weeks to review the transitions protocol and to change their practice in response to the views of young people and staff.
- The Rowan Centrein Elgin, Morayshire, has a transitional services sub-group of professionals who have produced a guide for professionals on principles of good care at the time of a young person's transition.