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Place2Be responds to recent recommendations published by the Children & Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce

Jonathan Wood, Head of Service at Place2Be, responds to the recent recommendations published by the Scottish Government's Children & Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce.

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We are grateful for the opportunity to take part in the Taskforce as a member of the generic workstream. What is vitally important now is that we have the opportunity to continue to work with partners within the Scottish Government and COSLA to see these recommendations put into action and indeed built upon. We are currently in a position where more than 25% of children and young people in Scotland are waiting more than 18 weeks for a CAMHS appointment – clearly the need for systemic change remains evident, and of the highest priority. Jonathan Wood, Head of Service at Place2Be

“Place2Be has always emphasised the need for approaches that create the necessary systems changes and we would endorse the recommendations laid out by the Taskforce in their emphasis around the importance of a ‘whole-systems’ approach to supporting children’s mental health. Place2Be’s approach focusses on the opportunity that the school environment plays in supporting children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health. We provide direct therapeutic work within schools, as well expert training, providing teachers and school staff with the practical skills, knowledge and awareness to improve their work with pupils and families. To effectively deliver on this requires training not just of current school staff, but from initial teacher education stage.

“Place2Be has always seen the importance of “reflective space’ for school staff; we see this as an opportunity for staff and school leaders to reflect on what they see, hear and feel from a children’s mental health perspective within the school environment, to unpick the best approaches and mechanisms to support pupils and crucially to understand the effect on them as individuals. At Place2Be we call this “Place2Think” – and we are pleased to see the importance of ‘supervision/reflective practice’ highlighted in the report, as part of a ‘capacity building’ approach. This as an essential ingredient, if we are to retain and recruit the very best education workforce in Scotland, and develop mentally strong cultures in our schools. Our pilot programme with Student Teachers at the Universities of Edinburgh (Moray House) and Stirling has built on our “Place2Think” experience and further demonstrated the importance of ‘reflective space’ for professional development. We look forward to sharing our learning and our experience in this area with Taskforce partners.

“The taskforce recommendations note that there needs to be a strengthened approach, and support for non-clinical, medicalised models of care, we would agree and we are pleased to see an emphasis as to the range of partners that this entails, and the importance of the third sector in particular, highlighted within the report.

“In conclusion, we are encouraged therefore by the work of the taskforce and look forward to continuing to collaborate with Taskforce members, the Scottish Government and COSLA in driving forward the necessary change in improving and supporting the mental health of all children and young people in Scotland.”


Read the Children & Young People's Mental Health Taskforce recommendations

Learn more about our programme at the Universities of Edinburgh and Stirling

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