In April 2017, Health Education England (HEE) commissioned a training programme as part of its Children and Young People’s Mental Health Education and Training Fund. The aim of the programme was to support workforce development, in order to improve the mental health outcomes for children and young people with extra vulnerabilities, across six geographical areas in the South West of England.
Our evaluation of the impact of the programme indicates that it was valued by staff from the majority of sites. They made a number of positive comments during the follow-up interviews, confirming that their skills around person-centred approaches, and confidence in dealing with mental health had improved. The results from our pre-training and post-training surveys also confirm that people saw an improvement in their knowledge about mental health issues, their confidence and skills in understanding them, and better understanding of how person-centred approaches can be used to support children and young people.
Key areas of learning that we have drawn from this work to inform our future approach:
The importance of the initial set up conversations - not only to identify suitable attendees and their level of current expertise, but also to allow time to organise and shape locally relevant content delivery.
The importance of selection of the training participants – careful selection and assessment of the learning needs of the group is vital to ensure that personal and organisational expectations, as well as learning outcomes, are met.
Adaptations to the cascade model to develop a modular set of resources that better support future local delivery.
Condensing the delivery into two full days rather than three.
Further development of the co-production approach. Future work within NDTi will look at the possibility of co-delivery with young people, as well as strengthened mechanisms by which attendees can be accountable to the young people for their learning and changed practice.