Youth Mental Health Project initiatives

This section summarises the 26 initiatives in the Youth Mental Health Project.

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Ministry of Health – project lead

1. School Based Health Services
Maintain and expand funding to School Based Health Services to decile 3 secondary schools.

2. HEEADSSS Wellness Check
Expand the use of the HEEADSSS wellness checks in schools and primary care settings. HEEADSSS stands for Home, Education/Employment, Eating, Activities, Drugs, Sexuality, Suicide and Depression, Safety.

3. Primary Mental Health
Expand funding to extend the current primary mental health service to all youth in the 12–19 year age group and their families.

4. E-Therapy
Review and implement an internet-based e-therapy tool for young people to provide treatment that will focus on common anxiety and depression. This tool is called SPARX.

5. Primary Care Responsiveness to Youth

  • Improve the responsiveness of primary care to youth including through drop-in services.
  • Youth One Stop Shops (YOSS) – interim funding and secure funding pathways.

6. CAMHS & AOD Follow up
Review and improve follow-up care for those discharged from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and youth Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) services.

7. CAMHS and Youth AOD Access
Improve access to CAMHS and youth AOD services through DHB wait time targets and integrated case management services.

Ministry of Education – project lead

8. Positive Behaviour for Learning School-wide
Expand Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) by offering it to any primary, intermediate and secondary school who would like to become involved. Positive Behaviour School Wide is a whole school programme that focuses on teaching positive behaviour, communicating clear behaviour expectations and creating a school culture that supports responsibility for behaviour.

9. PB4L Check and Connect
PB4L Check and Connect provides mentoring and monitoring for young people in secondary school who have lost interest in school. This pilot programme is being trialed and evaluated to determine next steps.

10. PB4L My FRIENDS Youth
The PB4L My FRIENDs Youth programme was trailed in secondary schools to help build students’ self-esteem and resilience to help them cope with depression and anxiety. The pilot finished at the end of 2015 and the Ministry of Education is now evaluating the results.

11. Education Review Office review of wellbeing and engagement in school
The Education Review Office (ERO) has produced a series of wellbeing evaluations and publications to support ongoing improvement in schools. In 2016 ERO released a resource (Wellbeing for success: a resource for schools) to help schools evaluate and improve children and young people’s wellbeing and an effective practice guide (Wellbeing for success: effective practice) that gives school leaders, teachers and trustees examples of what works and why. These can be found on ERO's website. The resource replaces ERO’s previous Wellbeing for Success Draft Evaluation Indicators and complements the School Evaluation Indicators published in May 2015.

12. Improving the School Guidance System
The Education Review Office carried out a review of the school guidance system. Visit the ERO website to find out more. The Ministry of Education have set up a Guidance and Counselling Working Group to implement a refreshed work programme.

13. Review of Alcohol and Other Drug Education Services
An independent review of government-funded Alcohol and Other Drug education programmes for young people was undertaken in 2013. Visit the Ministry of Education’s Te Kete Ipurangi website to find out more.

Ministry of Social Development – project lead

14. Youth Workers in Low Decile Secondary Schools
Provide youth or social worker support services using the PB4L Check & Connect education mentoring model for students in targeted low decile secondary schools who are at risk of disengaging.

15. Social Media Innovation Fund
Supporting innovative use of social media technology to improve youth mental health and emotional wellbeing. Visit Lifehack – Developing new ways to tackle youth mental health issues, Lifehack on Facebook, The Lifehack blog.

16. Improving the youth-friendliness of mental health resources
Work with providers to increase use of new technology and improve the youth friendliness of online mental health resources. Guidelines have been developed by Youthline in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development. Visit the Ministry of Youth Development website to access these guidelines.

17. Information for parents, families and friends
Improve access to quality information on youth mental health, wellbeing and where to seek help for parents, families and friends. Common Ground developed as part of this initiative, is a website, phone line and information pack service that provide whānau, family and friends of young people access to information, tools and support, so they can assist young people to get the right kind of help when they need it.

18. Social Support for Youth One Stop Shops
Provide one-off funding for Youth One Stop Shops for 2012/13 (initiative now complete).

19. Youth Referrals Pathways Review
Review the integration, consistency and effectiveness of referral pathways in the youth mental health system and make recommendations for improvements.

20. Youth Engagement
Ensure young people have a say in the Youth Mental Health Project through targeted consultation involving focus groups, online surveys and social media.

21. Youth Re-engagement and School Attendance
Training for youth re-engagement and school attendance providers in recognising and working with young people with mental health issues.

Te Puni Kōkiri – project lead

22. Whānau Ora for Youth Mental Health
Contract 2 providers to work with 40 Māori and Pacific young people and their whānau/aiga over a 2-year period to address the mental health needs of the young people within the context of building leadership and capability within the whānau/aiga.

New initiatives (from the review of Youth Referral Pathways)

23. Referral pathway supports for young people
Identify actions to improve awareness of youth mental health issues and knowledge of available services; strengthen workforce capability; and assess the feasibility of ‘navigator’ support functions.

24. Developing integrated funding models and connected service delivery
Identify opportunities to develop more integrated funding models and Youth Wellness Hub services to support integrated youth service provision across social services and primary care.

25. Co-locating additional social services in schools
Investigate the feasibility and value of co-locating additional social services in schools.

Canterbury Youth Mental Health

26. Addressing the emerging youth mental health issues in Canterbury
Develop and implement a local health and education joint (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Canterbury District Health Board) action plan to specifically address the emerging youth mental health issues in Canterbury.

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