NIHR publishes final report from the early evaluation of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Trailblazer Programme20 February 2023
The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) publishes the final report from the early evaluation of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Trailblazer Programme. The research was undertaken by the BRACE Rapid Evaluation Centre and Policy Innovation and Evaluation Research Unit.
The evaluation explored the set up and delivery of mental health support teams (MHSTs) in the Programme’s first 25 ‘Trailblazer’ areas. By April 2023, an estimated 500 MHSTs will have been created, supporting around three million 5-18 year olds.
- Schools and colleges universally welcomed investment in ‘in-house’ mental health support, which came at a time when many were seeing substantial increases in mental health problems, among not only pupils, but also parents/carers and staff.
- There were widespread concerns about children falling through the gap between MHSTs’ ‘mild to moderate’ remit and the criteria for specialist support. Some MHSTs had extended their remit to provide support for children with more serious mental health problems, but not all.
- Some groups were reported to be underserved by MHSTs, including children and young people with special educational needs or neurodiversity, those from ethnic minority backgrounds and some religious backgrounds, and children with challenging family or social circumstances.
Further information about the evaluation can be found here.