Improving mental health assessments of Looked After Children in Doncaster

NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group | February 2019| Improving mental health assessments of Looked After Children in Doncaster

Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) reports that Doncaster will become one of the pilot areas that will trial a new mental health assessment to help ensure that children and young people are assessed at the right time, with a focus on their individual needs  for children and young people in care. 

In Doncaster, a new Integrated Framework will be implemented, focussing on the psychological, emotional, educational, speech, language, communication and life skill needs of young people at the point they are near the edge of care or mental ill health; and support those who become looked after (Source: Doncaster CCG).

Full story from NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group


See also: One of the largest mental health trials launches in schools


[NICE surveillance report) Self-harm in over 8s: short-term management and prevention of recurrence (CG16, 2004)

NICE | February 2019 | Self-harm in over 8s: short-term management and prevention of recurrence 

Self-harm in over 8s: short-term management and prevention of recurrence (CG16, 2004) – surveillance decision: NICE will update the guideline.

NICE will update the following guidelines on self-harm to merge the content into 1 guideline:

Full details see NICE



One of the largest mental health trials launches in schools

Department for Education, Department of Health and Social Care, The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP | January 2019 | Up to 370 schools to join one of the largest trials in the world to boost the evidence about what works to support mental health and wellbeing

To mark Children’s Mental Health Week this week (4-10 February), the Education Secretary Damian Hinds announces that up to 370 schools in England will take part in a series of trials testing different approaches to supporting young people’s mental health.


Children will benefit from mindfulness exercises, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to help them regulate their emotions, alongside pupil sessions with mental health experts. The study will run until 2021 and aims to give schools new, robust evidence about what works best for their students’ mental health and wellbeing.

Mr Hinds also confirmed the nine areas across the country that will trial new high-quality mental health assessments for young people entering care, helping them get the support they need to meet their individual needs at a time when they are more vulnerable.

Led by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in partnership with University College London, the school study is now in its second wave and recruiting more primary and secondary schools to join.

The trials are designed to explore the impact of different approaches at school, in recognition of the significant time children spend at school and the important role teachers can play in recognising changes in pupils’ behaviour or mood (Source: Department for Education, Department of Health and Social Care, The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP).

Read the full news story here

Finding our own way

Centre for Mental Health | January 2019 | Finding our own way

Finding our own way explores the impact of transitions between further and higher education on students’ mental health and ways in which these might be improved.

Funded by Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, the Centre for Mental Health reviewed current evidence and conducted research with students, teachers and staff. The research we conducted highlighted young people’s concerns around academic demands, living at university and financial pressures, and highlighted the major upheaval which these transitions can cause.


Finding our own way

Mental health difficulties are increasing amongst further and higher education students, and whilst more students are seeking help from university counselling services, not everyone is accessing timely support. The report highlights the lack of joined-up NHS support for students living between two locations, and its recommendations include:

  • Calling on universities to strengthen the personal tutor role to offer more frequent support
  • Calling on colleges and universities to offer young people with special educational needs, disabilities and mental health issues additional support or extended transitions
  • The creation of a stand-alone website which curates helpful resources on the topic of transitions to help alleviate young people’s anxiety
  • Calling on NHS England and clinical commissioning groups to ensure continuity of care for young people in CAMHS throughout their education, including the transition to university/FE college (Source: Centre for Mental Health).

Mental health and moving from school to further and higher education

NICE: Offer digital CBT to young people with mild depression

NICE |  January 2019 | Offer digital CBT to young people with mild depression, says NICE

Children and young people can be offered digital cognitive behavioural therapy (digital CBT, also known as computer CBT) as a first-line treatment for mild depression, says NICE. Currently digital CBT is recommended for adults with mild to moderate depression. 


NICE says that the choice of treatment should be based on clinical need and patient and carer preferences. The child or young person’s history, circumstances and maturity should also be considered.

Digital CBT is delivered on mobile phones, tablets or computers, meaning users can access help quickly, avoiding waiting lists.

This draft recommendation is made in a fast-tracked update to NICE’s existing guideline on depression in children and young people aged 5 to 18. It follows a recent trial (published in The Lancet)  which showed the benefits young people can gain from psychological therapies.

Digital CBT is already recommended for adults with mild to moderate depression (Source: NICE)

Read the full news story from NICE Offer digital CBT to young people with mild depression, NICE says 

See NICE Depression in children and young people: identification and management

See also:

The Lancet Cognitive behavioural therapy and short-term psychoanalytical psychotherapy versus a brief psychosocial intervention in adolescents with unipolar major depressive disorder (IMPACT): a multicentre, pragmatic, observer-blind, randomised controlled superiority trial 

NHS Long Term Plan Commits To Young People’s Mental Health

This month, the NHS Long Term Plan was published, which lays out the NHS plans and priorities for the next decade.

The NHS Long Term Plan has committed to:

  • An extra £2.3billion for mental health services per year by 2023-24, with a commitment to a proportional growth in funding for children’s mental health
  • An ambition to support an additional 345,000 more children and young people with their mental health through CAMHS, community mental health services, as well as support in schools and colleges by 2022/23.
  • An expanding age appropriate crisis care for children and young people, including a 24/7 telephone hotline for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • Creating a comprehensive mental and physical health model for 0-25 year olds to avoid difficult transition into adult services at 18 years old
  • New services for children with complex needs which are not being met, including children who have been subject to sexual assault

Read the response of Young Minds to the Long term plan here

Full document available here

The health impacts of screen time

The health impacts of screen time – a guide for clinicians and parents | Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)

xbox-926586_1920This guide provides a summary of existing research on the health effects of screen time on children and young people. It outlines recommendations for health professionals and families on screen time use.

Screen time guidance suggests parents approach screen time based on the child’s developmental age, the individual need and value the family place on positive activities such as socialising, exercise and sleep – when screen time displaces these activities, the evidence suggests there is a risk to child wellbeing.