Scotland influencing – Mental Health and Wellbeing

Find out Barnardo’s Scotland’s approach to children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Barnardo’s Scotland’s approach to children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing involves:

  • enhancing protective factors around children and young people
  • intervening early to prevent developmental trauma and childhood adversity
  • a multi-disciplinary approach to children and young people’s mental health
  • supports and services available to children and young people when they need them

This approach runs through our policy and practice work. You can read more about how we do this in our brochure: Supporting Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing in Scotland.

It’s All About Relationships: Embedding relational, trauma sensitive approaches in education settings

It's all about relationships

We know that where children and young people feel included, respected, safe and secure and when their achievements and contributions are valued and celebrated, they are more likely to develop self-confidence, resilience and positive views about themselves. We want to make explicit links between trauma-sensitive, relational approaches within Education and children and young people’s mental health.  

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 we launched our film in partnership with Public Health Scotland – ‘It’s All About Relationships: Embedding relational, trauma sensitive approaches in education settings’

You can see our press release here.

The film highlights practical examples and tips that education staff can build into their everyday practice to support positive relationships with young people. Relationships between staff and pupils will be even more important as schools reopen after the Covid-19 lockdown, now more than ever, education environments which are relational and trauma-sensitive will be crucial.

The film is intended for use by Education professionals as part of ongoing training and CPD, as well as more broadly to promote messages of relational, trauma sensitive practice at a national policy level.

You can watch the full film here. 

You can also watch the hour long Webinar which we used to launch the film here. We were delighted to have Lisa Cherry, Pattie Santelices and Eireann McAuley in conversation after an introduction from our Assistant Director for Attainment Maureen McAteer during this virtual launch. 

The film comes with accompanying film notes to allow for group discussions as part of training and development for Education. The film notes can be found here.

Film notes

Supervision in Education 

In July 2019 we published Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of education staff through professional supervision structures.

We want to start a national conversation about the role Supervision can play within Education. We believe those working in education should have access to the same kinds of structural supports for their mental health and wellbeing and professional development as other caring sectors, such as clinical practice, social work and third sector.

We firmly believe that children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing could be vastly improved if the right support was available for the adults who care for them every day.

Our new report - Supervision In Education - Healthier Schools For All was published on the 17th of February 2019, you can read it here.

You can read the executive summary here.

Join the conversation on twitter by using #SupervisionInEducation  

Rejected Referrals to CAMHS

In March 2017 we successfully called on the Scottish Government to undertake a National Review of Rejected Referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

We published a report in June 2018 highlighting the experiences of our frontline practitioners who had supported children who had a referral rejected by CAMHS.

You can read the Executive Summary here.

The report makes three clear recommendations for change, which we hope will be taken forward by the newly established Scottish Government Children and Young People’s Mental Health Programme Board:

1) Clearly understood, consistent referral criteria AND assessment processes for referrals to CAMHS should be established nationally.

2) Clarification is needed as a matter of urgency for all professionals and families about what the role, scope and remit of specialist CAMHS is.

3) Consideration should be given to the development of an alternative service to CAMHS for children experiencing distress. This service should be rooted in children’s experiences and environment and take a trauma-informed approach.

Other key documents 

Becoming and sustaining an adversity, trauma and culturally informed and responsive Barnardo's - 2019 (PDF)

Improving Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing through a Whole Systems Approach - 2019 (PDF)

Trauma is everyone's business - 2018 (PDF)

Closing the poverty related attainment gap - Before and beyond the school gates - 2018 (PDF)