Review of children and young people's mental health and its impact on IAS services

Review of children and young people's mental health and its impact on IAS services

First published: October 2019

A review of children and young people’s mental health and its impact on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Services

Between June and October 2019, the Information, Advice and Support Programme carried out a review of IAS services’ current work in the area of children and young people’s (CYP) mental health.

The purpose of this exercise was to:

  • To understand the current nature and extent of IAS services’ work with CYP who are experiencing mental health issues.
  • To ascertain IAS services’ current level of awareness of and engagement with CYP mental health services in their respective local areas.

To undertake this investigation, a survey was circulated to all IAS services in England. 186 responses were received from over 100 services.

The key findings of the review include:

  • The majority of IAS services are already working with CYP with mental issues and many services are encountering an increasing number of CYP with mental health issues.
  • IAS services are working with a variety of mental health services and organisations, though less than half reported experience of working with CAMHS.
  • IAS services frequently feel that there is a lack of adequate mental health provision for CYP both in terms of services and within schools.
  • IAS services are keen to develop their practice and knowledge in this area and feel they would benefit from further training.

The review concludes some key recommendations based on these findings in relation to the Government’s CYP mental health agenda, which include:

  • The need for useful guidance for IAS services in regards to working with those affected with mental health issues and in developing strategic links with statutory mental health services.
  • The need for a mixed mental health training package for IAS service staff comprising face-to-face and easy to access e-learning components.
  • The Council for Disabled Children to facilitate and support the relationships between IAS services, statutory mental health services and voluntary organisations on a local and regional basis.

In terms of taking these recommendations forward, the Council for Disabled Children will be talking to government officials to seek a way that best benefits the sector.

Click here to access the full report

The case studies listed below include specific examples of IAS services’ work in the area of mental health and are published with permission of the service manager in question.