A new service has been launched to provide early mental health advice and support to children and young people attending schools and colleges in Doncaster.
The Doncaster Consultation and Advice Team is being introduced across the borough to support children and young people in the community by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), which are run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).
From September a team of four RDaSH locality workers will each work across areas around the borough and be a named CAMHS link to front line services such as local schools and colleges, GP surgeries and other organisations that work with children and young people, in a bid to promote mental wellbeing from the earliest of ages, and provide easy access to the right services at the right time to support children and their families.
RDaSH Principal Clinical Psychologist Dr Monica Birdi said: “Many mental health conditions show their first signs in childhood and adolescence, so it’s vital we’re able to provide the right care as early as possible to avoid people needing specialist help later in life.
“This new service means we’ll be working in the local community to provide consultations at locations which children, young people and their families find easy to access and where they feel most comfortable. We aim to promote positive emotional wellbeing and ensure their needs are identified and acted upon quickly, so they need not enter formal services such as CAMHS, and only need to access the specific support they need.
“We will also be offering education and guidance to their teachers, which will allow staff the young people are already working with and know well, to be able to support them in the right way.”
RDaSH Chief Operating Officer Debbie Smith said: “We’re delighted to be launching this new service in Doncaster.
“It directly supports the latest national guidance to promote protect and improve our children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and give parents and carers the help they need to support their children.
“We’ll be providing training to teachers and other people who work in schools along with GPs, midwives and health visitors, so they fully understand emotional and mental health in children and know what to do and where to go if they’re worried about someone in their care.”
From September, all schools and colleges across Doncaster will have a named locality worker, who will look after the needs of staff, children and young people, as well as providing family support. Anyone wishing to find out more about the Doncaster Consultation and Advice Team, or find out who their locality worker is can ring (01302) 796191.