Gwent RPB has developed a model of Single Point of Access for Children’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health (SPACE-Wellbeing) panels. These panels are in place across the 5 local authority areas of Gwent.
The panels meet once per week and take referrals from multiple sources: GPs, schools, social services, but also parents and families. The referrals are taken for children who have complex needs which might include a history of trauma, family issues, mental health disorders, social care needs, and disability.
Attendees at the panel which the Commissioner visited in Monmouthshire (the Monmouthshire Early Help Panel) include representatives from a wide range of services: including social services, primary and specialist mental health services, substance misuse services, the local authority’s sports and leisure service, youth services, school-based counselling service, Building Stronger Families service, third sector mental health provision, learning disability transitions service, young carers organisation, housing services, and youth enterprise services.
In this panel meeting, over 20 children and young people were discussed in the space of 1 ½ hours. All children and young people were given an immediate intervention (or if appropriate a sequence of interventions). These ranged from a simple visit to meet with the young person over a cup of tea and discuss local support options, an offer to join the young carers’ support group, support to join a social or sport activity, bereavement counselling or play therapy to, in a small number of cases, the involvement of specialist CAMHS. The panel aim to take into account the whole of the family’s circumstances where this is available to them and respond to all needs relevant to that young person, as far as they can.
An evaluation of the panels is currently underway, but the board are able to display a reduction in demand to specialist children’s mental health, as a result of children and families being allocated to other more appropriate sources of support through the panels.
SPACE-Wellbeing is part of Gwent’s Iceberg Model
The video below, by Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, explains more about the Iceberg Model.