Community mental health and wellbeing supports and services: framework

This framework sets out a clear broad approach for the support that children and young people should be able to access for their mental health and emotional wellbeing within their community.


50. The development of mental health and wellbeing supports and services within the community is likely to change the overall balance of provision, critically involving more children and families being supported in the community, and once established, fewer requiring referral to CAMHS.

51. As with all change, there is a level of risk involved with this process, and partnerships will require to manage that change and risk as confidence is built in new supports and services. This will require professional oversight, and necessary safeguards. This includes all staff being aware of the need to assess risk and of their own capacity to assess risk at a local level.

52. Each local partnership should collaborate on how risk will be managed and monitored across the range of local support and services. All agencies working with a child have a responsibility to deliver the right support at the right time without delay.

53. Important risk management aspects will include embedding community supports and services within the whole system locally, with excellent connections between community based and CAMHS services, and an explicit approach to staff training and support in place.

54. There should be clear escalation pathways both in hours and out of hours agreed with CAMHS. Usually this will be how to seek advice from a CAMHS clinician where a child or young person is not getting better or is raising increasing concern. It will also include how to support a child or young person to access urgent assessment from other professionals both in and out of hours including - GPs, mental health specialists, nurses or social work if required. This information needs to be easily accessible from anywhere 24/7.

55. It is recognised that in the majority of cases, supports and services will utilise evidence-based interventions but may use some less well-evidenced supports where these are considered to be best placed to help the child or young person. Practitioners should manage this risk as appropriate.



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