Mental Health


  • Understanding of, and working with mental health concerns
  • Inter-agency working and communication
  • Professional challenge
  • Refugee and Asylum seeking children and young people


A Practitioner Learning Event was undertaken to consider the multi-agency response to a young person where there were concerns in relation to mental health issues and their ongoing involvement with services..  Inter-agency working and communication and professional challenge was also considered.

Good Practice

Understanding of and working with mental health concerns

  • Ongoing contact with mental health services, including increased frequency at times provides continuity and ongoing oversight.
  • Continued expressing of concerns by services in relation to an individuals mental health concerns ensures they are considered within assessments of, and responses to young people
  • Understanding of and response to an individuals basic needs including provision and support in relation to physical and practical needs supports their mental health and well being
  • A full identification and understanding of the risk an individual poses to themselves and others enables an appropriate and proportionate response including increased visits, ongoing requests for mental health assessments and the making of, and continual reminder with regards to a safety plan.

Inter-agency working and communication

  • The pro-activeness of practitioners in raising concerns with other agencies ensures that there is an ongoing multi-agency understanding of, and response to the needs of a young person
  • High levels of communication between services allows for continued information sharing and consideration of concerns.
  • Good ongoing attendance, and input, at multi-agency meetings by the key services working with an individual ensures a multi-agency understanding and response to need

Professional challenge

  • High levels of professional challenge, supported by the Professional Concerns Resolution Process, allows for appropriate escalation to and discussions between senior leaders.

Key Learning and Practice Improvements

Understanding of and working with mental health concerns

  • Full feedback from agencies following requests for Mental Health Assessments would provide practitioners with an understanding of responses, including where no further action has been agreed
  • Where an individual does not appear to be registered with a GP this should be established as to why, and the individual should be encouraged to register in order to support their needs
  • A full chronology and history of an individual with mental health concerns provides an understanding of the wider context and an understanding of early childhood trauma
  • Limited resources, such as access to beds and access to CAMHS services has an impact on outcomes for children and young people.

Inter-agency working and communication

  • Communicating the outcomes of key interactions by services to all practitioners working with an individual enables a fuller understanding of how needs are responded to, and associated actions.
  • Communication between the services should be timely in order to potentially enable a timely response from another service
  • All agencies working with an individual should be identified in order to consider their appropriate role within multi-agency meetings.

Refugee and Asylum seeking children and young people

  • A good level of  knowledge and understanding of the needs of, and support available (including legal) in relation to refugee and asylum-seeking children and young people allows practitioners to seek appropriate support and ensure additional needs in relation to this are also included in assessments and responses.

Your Next Steps

Share and discuss the identified good practice and learning points with colleagues, and ensure the following is embedded in your practice:

  • Where there are mental health concerns for an individual support them with regular contact with mental health services
  • Ensure where you have concerns for an individual (including in relation to mental health) that these are expressed to partner agencies as appropriate and included within assessments and associated responses
  • Take time to get to know and understand all the needs of an individual (including physical and practical) and consider how practical support can be provided either by yourself or another service
  • Take time to identify and continually assess all the potential risks an individual may pose to themselves and others, and use this to inform appropriate responses in relation to managing the risk
  • Ensure high levels of communication and information sharing between services in a timely manner in order that there is an appropriate multi-agency consideration of concerns. This includes the outcome of any interventions and outcomes of requests for services
  • Ensure you are aware of all practitioners / agencies working with a child, young person or family and that they are invited to multi-agency meetings as appropriate
  • Ensure you are aware of the LSCP Professional Concerns Resolution Process and are confident in applying if as required
  • Where an individual is not registered with a GP and there are concerns in relation to their health try to establish why, and encourage them to register
  • Gather a full chronology and history of an individual in order to understand the wider context and any early childhood trauma
  • Take time to develop your  knowledge and understanding of the needs of, and support available (including legal) in relation to refugee and asylum-seeking children and young people.

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