Children and Young People's Mental Health Task Force: preliminary view and recommendations from the Chair

This preliminary, exploratory phase has formed Dame Denise Coia's initial recommendations and will inform setting up the Task Force structure needed to take forward the work of making real improvement.

Recommendations for the Taskforce

I recommend that the Task Force puts children and young people at the centre of a programme of work to:

1. Identify those areas where the Task Force can support immediate changes in specialist CAMHS to implement the recommendations of the rejected referral report and performance. Success will include clear referral criteria, transparent processes for existing CAMHS, and meeting the needs of the children, young people and families involved in that audit.

2. Support the development of a framework for children and young people's mental health and mental wellbeing services. I recommend my description of four strands and how services can work together for good outcomes for children, young people, their families and carers.

3. Strengthen information systems and gather good data about how the whole system is working, and about the experience of children and young people. Success will include defining what data is needed, its effective and timely reporting to the Task Force, and its use for improvement by services.

4. Develop an online platform offering support, information discussion and champions anti stigma work around mental health which recognises the modern experience of growing up, and optimises the use of technology. Success will be the creation and use of the digital platform and associated resources.

5. Support the development and expansion of a diverse workforce in education, communities, and in primary care settings. To increase capability we will develop a programme of training in the NHS, and support similar endeavours in third sector, social work and education. That programme will inform future workforce plans. Success will be evidence of an competent, trained and expanded workforce tailored to meet needs, including greater capacity for specialist CAMHS to support community based services.

6. Support and help deliver the work of the Scottish Government in developing community services for mental wellbeing for those aged 5-24 years. Success will be delivery of services that are informed by the needs of children, young people, their families and carers and can show they: can be accessed quickly, are evidence based, and are where they need to be.

7. Support improvements in transparency of decision making to fulfil the expectations and rights of children and young people in relation to mental health and mental wellbeing services. Success will be evidence that children and young people know about their mental health rights, express their views on services, and are part of a social movement.

8. Support leadership capability for children and young people's mental health and mental wellbeing. Success will be clear, inclusive and effective governance and accountability.

Framework for Children and Young People's Mental Health

Framework for Children and Young People's Mental Health


Innes Fyfe

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