educationThree child and adolescent mental health charities have received funding from Health Education England to deliver a suite of free training events to meet the need for post-qualification training/development for child and adolescent mental health professionals in England.

The charities – the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH), MindEd and YoungMinds – will deliver 10 events between June and February 2017. The sessions will use e-learning to provide local child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) leaders standardised training materials, which can be cascaded down to local staff, who will, in turn, use the online learning to better their knowledge of child mental health issues.

Currently there is no formal national post-qualification professional development programme for CAMH professionals relating to the priorities outlined in Future in Mind and the transformation agenda. A 2014 skills survey of one of the largest CAMH services in the country found 87% of practitioners wanted more training. This programme will contribute towards bridging this gap.

Two event types will run in northern and southern locations in England:

Communities of Learning and Practice: one-day events bringing together commissioners, CAMHS leads, service users and parents to identify priorities from Future in Mind, current needs and solutions, and disseminate information on the commissioning process. They also give a guide to training priorities, and introduce the ‘How to deliver transformed services incorporating e-learning’ training resource. A one-day follow-up event runs afterwards to reflect on progress, share learnings and bolster peer-support links

Becoming a Local CAMHS Transformation Training Champion: two-day events emphasising the importance of transformation with reference to the CYP-IAPT, Future in Mind, the national funding landscape, etc. They also introduce the aforementioned training resource and how to use it, clinical topics, evidence-based practice, other available resources and how to support new starters or returners to work in CAMHS using MindEd’s established online platform. These are also followed by one-day follow-up events.

Keith Chambers, programme manager at MindEd, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding. There is a significant amount of CYP-IAPT based content within MindEd, but there remain many practitioners who have not been on the courses. Our e-learning sessions will help to accelerate existing initiatives. Using e-learning is an efficient, accessible way to deliver training to a much broader audience – we estimate that if just 20 CAMHS leads who receive the initial training go on to train staff in their local teams, it will benefit more than 500 individuals in total.”

Lysanne Wilson, director of operations at YoungMinds added: “Only about a quarter of children with diagnosable mental health problems get any kind of specialist care. We want to ensure that they are accessing support from well trained, up-to-date staff so that treatment options offered are relevant and delivered with current knowledge of the problems children and young people face.”

Professor Stephen Scott CBE, chair of ACAMH and Dr Mark Lovell, ACAMH CPD and training lead, concluded: “This funding will enable us to deliver high-quality CPD training at no cost to the NHS Trusts themselves – at a time when budgets are tight, and with increased scrutiny in the media about mental health services, we can put the power back in the hands of the CAMHS leads to upskill and develop their staff and deliver effective mental health services.”