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Mental health - good practice examples

We are highlighting examples of good practice. Some of these are described in (sometimes hard to find) documents. Others have been provided by nurses working with excluded groups. 

You might also like to refer to the guidance, policy and voices sections for further information on people with mental health problems.

If you would like to send us an example of good practice please use the online form.

The Esteem Team

This case study looks at the Sandwell Esteem Team, part of the Sandwell Integrated Primary Care Mental Health and Wellbeing Service (the Sandwell Wellbeing Hub) in the West Midlands. The hub is a holistic primary and community care-based approach to improving social, mental and physical health and wellbeing in the borough of Sandwell.

Patients and service users were involved in the initial design of the service and continue to play a large role in service delivery. This facilitates buy-in and trust,  while harnessing patients’ expertise ensures the service is patient-centred and responsive. See: The Esteem Team Co-ordinated care in the Sandwell Integrated Primary Care Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.

Right Here

Right Here is an initiative jointly managed by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation running from 2009 to 2014 aimed at developing new approaches to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people in the UK aged 16 to 25. The focus is on intervening early to help young people at risk of developing mental health problems and on tackling the stigma associated with mental health that often prevents young people seeking help. Right Here operates across four different projects in Newham, Brighton and Hove, Sheffield and Fermanagh which were selected from over 200 applications. Young people’s participation is fundamental to how all of the projects operate, as is partnership working. For details of each of the projects see Right Here projects.

Some of the young people in the Right Here Newham project, which is designed to improve the mental health of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) young people in the area, have produced an film about the project evaluating its achievements and the challenges faced - see Right Here: Newham.

Torfaen Young People’s Support Service

I have just read your post on the RCN discussion board and wanted to let you know about the work I am doing here in Torfaen.

I am employed by CAMHS  but work within a multi agency service which has as it’s members a leaving care team, education staff, homelessness officer, voluntary services, drugs worker, careers development, mentoring scheme and of course me as the mental health lead for the service.

We provide a service for young people aged 16 to 21 who are homeless, not in education, leaving care or are experiencing mental health difficulties.

Targeting this age group has proved challenging as you may be aware services for this age are limited. Most of the young people I see are not in education so do not meet the criteria for CAMHS but also may not have an enduring, acute mental illness that warrants a referral to adult psychiatric services. My role is to try and bridge that gap between the two. 

Many of the young people I visit are in crisis, they may act this out by self harming, taking overdoses, using drugs and alcohol. I also visit the young people who are having to leave the care system and starting out on their own, it is at this stage that questions about past abuse issues come to the fore and I help them through this. We also have a number of teenage mum’s within the service so we discuss parenting issues and post natal depression. I am also able to see young people who may be in the early stages of a more severe mental illness and are displaying symptoms of psychosis.

I take referrals from anyone, anywhere and the young people who access the service know they can ‘drop in’ and request an appointment at anytime. Of the young people I see the homeless population are particularly vulnerable and I work directly with local hostels and visit those in bed and breakfast accommodation and in prison.

I have been in post for two years and have seen well in excess of 200 young people and I carry a caseload of about 25 young people who I see for direct therapeutic work.

I am currently doing my MA in Psychotherapeutic Approaches with Adolescents at the Tavistock Clinic in London which I attend once a week. (I was awarded an RCN Trevor Clay Scholarship Fund £490 to help with course costs).

Example kindly contributed by Claire Grace, Pyschiatric nurse specialist, (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service), Torfaen Young People’s Support Service, Torfaen County Borough Council.

This page was last reviewed 2 April 2014