A team representing social workers and nurses from the School of Health, Community and Education Studies has secured contracts which will see them deliver training in evidence-based psychological therapies for a range of mental health difficulties experienced by children, including behavioural difficulties, anxiety and depression.
The three-year Department of Health contract is worth £2.45 million in the first year, £500,000 of which has been awarded to Northumbria for 2012/13. The project will see Northumbria working in partnership with Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust and Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humberside NHS Foundation Trust as part of the NHS programme Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Project.
A range of training courses have been developed to help services who work with children and young people modernise the way they work to achieve improved mental health outcomes. The courses centre around improving access to evidence-based psychological treatments for children, young people and their families by increasing and widening access to cognitive behavioural therapy services and specialist parenting interventions.
In addition to training practitioners, the project will also see specialist support being given to senior managers and clinicians relating to supervision and transformational management which will promote meaningful organisational culture change.
The training will be organised over a large geographical patch encompassing County Durham, Teesside, Redcar and Cleveland and Yorkshire and Humberside. Teaching and training will be delivered using a mixture of direct teaching and web-based learning methods. The contract will begin in November.
There are currently five partnerships delivering this type of training within the UK. Northumbria is one of only two new universities across the country to be awarded such a contract this year.
Prof. Kath McCourt, CBE, FRCN, Dean of the School of Health, Community and Education Studies, said: “This initiative represents a wonderful opportunity to improve services and outcomes for children and young people who are experiencing mental health difficulties across the region.
“This important contract award demonstrates the School’s specialism in child and adolescent mental health and its ability to respond to challenges designing innovative and contemporary evidence-based education, which has far-reaching implications.”
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said: “We’re working with young people and staff to make a step change in the way mental health care is delivered by the NHS. We know psychological therapies work. Our aim is to transform existing mental health services for children so that they get evidence-based treatment from services that are more responsive to their needs.
“I’m delighted that children and young people in the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside will soon be benefiting from improved access to evidence based therapies.”