So we are really hoping to build a service which is around the needs of the community and the children and young people and families within that community, rather than it being driven by service needs.
So what that looks like is a service where professionals are working really closely together and collaboratively to meet the needs of the local community. We are using the THRIVE Framework as the model to guide the system change. Now the THRIVE framework is very much built around an integrated service which is person centred and its needs led, and the idea is that looking at what the needs of the young person or family have this service will then meet those needs, rather than trying to slot families and young people in to services. So the hope is that we will move away from categorisation and thresholds and instead be focusing on ‘what does a young person need right now and how can we meet that need collaboratively as a service’.
Now, the idea behind this model is that young people and their families will be much more involved with the decision making around their care. So in my work in the psychology in schools team we are really fortunate to have already been using this model and we have seen the great outcomes. Because what we are trying to do is focus on prevention and opportunities for early intervention. So children who come to school have an opportunity within the school that they are in to receive their care around their mental health in various different ways.
So as a team we try to empower the local community, the school, with knowledge and information about how they can look after their own mental health and other people’s mental health, and we do this through training and opportunities for consultation and being available, and really accessible within that community.
So we actually work in the community, within the school, alongside the teachers and the school staff and the young people. We also look within the school to ensure that young people who might be struggling or having difficulties with their mental health are able to get the help that they might need really quickly and in the place that suits them. So, if it suits them to meet somebody in school then we will do that. If they would prefer to meet somebody outside of school then we can organise that. So we are building the care around the young person and, the idea of the model is even if a young person is presenting with quite complex needs we can still meet those needs within the environment or community context that suits them. From the families and young people that I work with, they really, really love the opportunity to get the right help at the right time.
So one of the things that I find most exciting about the model is that we are encouraging the communities we work in to build resilience and resource in their own communities. We are empowering them to be able to look after their own mental health and also take responsibility for looking after the mental health of those that are around them.
The exciting thing about this piece of work is that it is very much built on everybody making a contribution so the whole public has been consulted on this and this kind of way of working has been suggested by service users and other members of the public as well as professionals who work in these systems. And it is a constant dialogue, so we might not have got it completely right, so I would encourage anyone who has got an interest in this to have a look at the website so they can make a contribution and their voice can be added to the ways that these ideas get developed and can be built on going forward.
You can find more information on the #averydifferentconversation workforce page.