Teachers

Each primary school has half a day a fortnight of their CAMHS clinician’s time in school and each secondary school has a day a week of their clinician’s time. Some schools also buy in additional CAMHS time from their own budgets.
 
The clinician in school could be a Clinical Psychologist, a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist or a Family Therapist by training.

How we work

How the CAMHS time in each school is used is very varied and is developed through discussion with senior staff in each school. It can include:
  • Seeing children, young people, parents and carers in school either individually or together to help with children’s social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, especially where the difficulties are related to school or if it would be difficult to get to CAMHS somewhere else
  • Observing children in the school setting
  • Offering groups for children and/or parents
  • Running coffee mornings for parents about issues related to children’s social, emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • Screening for developmental disorders such as ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Being part of the school’s Pastoral Care Team and attending meetings where children, young people and families with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties are discussed
  • Talking to school staff and parents and carers about possible referrals to CAMHS and what to expect
  • Helping communication between school and home
  • Supporting school staff working with children and young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • Offering training to school staff
  • Organising mental health screenings of whole year groups to help schools understand what the needs in the school might be
  • Linking families and school staff with clinicians in other parts of CAMHS
  • Working closely with other professionals who are working with children and young people in school (e.g. Educational Psychologists / Social Workers / Speech and Language Therapists /Families First / Mentoring services such as Chance UK  and Friendship Works)
  • From September 2017, we will be offering training and consultation to schools centrally through CAMHS, in addition to the work of each school clinician.
 
Referrals to your school’s CAMHS clinician are usually coordinated by the SENCo or a member of the senior leadership team.
 
As well as being committed to providing accessible CAMHS support for children, young people and families in schools, our service in schools is also focused on making CAMHS support more available to school staff and other professionals who work in schools.
We are committed to delivering consultation and training to staff, both in the form of formalised trainings (such as Solihull /Attachment theory / Understanding ADHD), and also by supporting individuals or groups of staff with dilemmas relating to children in their classes.
 
We have found that requests for consultation to staff often increase after training on specific topics, and may mean that children and young people can access CAMHS support without being seen in a regular way themselves, through conversation and thinking with the teachers and teaching support staff who already know the child, young person and family well.

Schools Lead Team

We have a Schools’ Lead Team for Islington Community CAMHS, responsible for supporting and developing the work in schools. The team is led by Dr Helen Aspland (Clinical Psychologist). Each school, and the CAMHS clinician attached to it, are supported by a member of the Schools Lead Team. The other team members are Lucy Alexander (Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, Dr Sian Barnett (Clinical Psychologist), Dr Carolyn Edwards (Clinical Psychologist), Dr Joe Hickey (Clinical Psychologist) and Dr Wilma Mangabeira (Family and Systemic Psychotherapist). They regularly meet with the clinician, and their link staff member in school, to review the service.

Education Support Partnership

Education Support Partnership offer a free national service offering 24/7 support, coaching and counselling to any education staff who would like to access it. This is especially useful for school staff who are feeling very overwhelmed and may benefit from having an independent space to think through their challenges. https://www.educationsupportpartnership.org.uk/helping-you
Working on it!