Starting Well: Children's Mental Health

Starting Well: Early detection and intervention of mental health problems in children and young people.

Research Leads:

Professor David Fowler, University of Sussex Starting Well: CYP Mental Health Theme Lead

Becca Randell, Implementation Manager for Children and Young People’s Mental Health -

Starting Well: Children's Mental Health Motif
Starting Well: Children's Mental Health Showcase

Starting Well Aims

Early Detection and Intervention of Mental Health Problems in CYP through:

  • Identifying screening strategies for CYP at particular risk.
  • Identifying critical periods for delivery of intervention.
  • Help to shape targeted, preventative and developmentally appropriate interventions.

Starting Well Sub-themes

  • Severe mental health problems in adolescence
  • Neurodevelopmental difficulties (ADHD/ASC)
  • School-based interventions
  • Parenting
  • Seldom heard groups of young people and placed-based approach.

During our first year of operation, we funded a number of Covid-19 related research programmes these include:

  • DisCOVery - psychological impact of Covid-19 on children and young people in high risk and hard to reach groups 
  • How can services best support care leavers to move on after lockdown? Co-produced guidance and messages
  • “Zoom or Room” – comparing in person and on-line interventions.

Some examples of other areas of work we have supported this year includes:

  • Supporting Surrey County Council to draw out the views of over 2,000 children and young people across Surrey. 
  • Researching the challenges faced by voluntary and community sector delivering mental health services across Sussex during COVID-19 which we have fed into the Reset and Recovery Programme.

  • Spreading innovation through technology and new pathways by supporting the Academic Science Network (AHSN) to roll out ADHD and early intervention eating disorders for 16-25 year olds national programmes across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. 

  • Working with YMCA and Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust (SPfT) to support roll out of  E-Wellbeing across Sussex.

  • Mapped local children’s mental health services, demographic data and voice and participation activity to help inform future research.

  • Mapped current and pipeline CYP mental health research across KSS.

  • We are working with schools, national stakeholders and The University of Sussex as well as close collaboration with East of England ARC to deliver a best practice review and evaluation of whole school approach to mental health support teams in schools. 
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