Sharing Learning from Serious Case Reviews
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Haringey Safeguarding Children Board
Safeguarding is Everyone's Responsibility


Learning from Serious Case Reviews

Serious Case Review Posters

Mental Health issues in children and young people
Mental Health Poster - learning from serious case reviews

Download the Information Sheet

Supporting Mental Health in Children & Young People >
Learning is systematically collected when things go badly wrong for children & young people. Haringey SCB aims to share some of these lessons across Haringey agencies via a series of posters and information sheets to promote this learning.

Please help by disseminating and displaying in your setting.

Main Themes

Ten percent of children under 15 have a mental health disorder, and this rate increases in adolescence. Suicide is the leading cause of young deaths in the UK.

Responding effectively to mental health issues in children and young people is something that professionals struggle to do effectively as a multi-agency group.

Young people using certain drugs may be at particular risk of damaging their mental health. A recent study suggested that up to 24% of new psychosis cases in the study population could be attributed to the use of skunk (Di Forti M, Marconi A, Carra E, et al. Proportion of patients in south London with first-episode psychosis attributable to use of high-potency cannabis: a case-control study (PDF, 439kb). Lancet Psychiatry. Published online February 16 2015).

Suicides in young people are a national problem. While most self-harming does not escalate to suicide, a high proportion of suicide victims also suffered with self-harming. All too often, self-harm is dismissed as ‘attention-seeking’. Likewise, thinking and talking about suicide are strong indicators of possible suicide. Self-harming and suicidal thoughts should get our attention and appropriate support.


Reflective Practice

  • How do you identify mental health issues in children and young people?
  • Would you consider a young person who is cutting to be at risk?
  • Would you know how to support a young person who is struggling with depression or psychosis?
  • How does your service manage mental ill health in children and young people? Is there a strategy for doing this?


Mental Health Awareness & Safeguarding Training (MAST) 

What is MAST training?
MAST Training is about promoting the safety of young people in London, by making it easier for practitioners to take action to support young people when there are signs that they are suffering from mental health (MH) issues and emotional trauma (ET). The programme is funded by the Home Office Innovation Fund and funding finishes in March 2016
A particular focus is on the link between mental health, safeguarding, and the harm caused by gangs - both to gang members themselves and to vulnerable victims. Mental Health is core business for many organisations and a key goal is about reducing workload through effective action.
How long will the training take?
The training consists of two days of training, starting from March 2015 and to be completed by March 2016. The second day of training will take place approximately six months after the first day of training.
What are the benefits of this?
The training workshops will provide an opportunity for practitioners to network with staff in other agencies, promoting more effective working across organisations. In addition to promoting more effective safeguarding we intend to reduce levels of gang activity and decrease the risks to agencies of missing safeguarding opportunities, with the associated loss in public confidence.
The outcomes from this training will include:
  • Ability to Identify MH/ET issues
  • Understanding of Referral Pathways and key Contacts within the borough
  • Ability to support a person with MH/ET
  • Understanding the Referral Guide
  • Understanding the relationship between MH, offending, safeguarding and gangs
Who can take part in the training?
MAST will provide joint agency training for front line practitioners working with young people, including Police, School Staff (primary, secondary and alternative provision), gang workers, YOS, secure estate, Health and third sector organisations. Training will be delivered by a training supplier, working with agencies that will benefit from the training. Within Schools we are asking for the release specifically of the School Designated Safeguarding lead and Safer Schools Officer
How will the training help?
A key element of the work is providing practitioners with additional resources, pathways and strategies to manage mental health issues when they have been identified. The intention is not to turn practitioners into clinicians, but to give them sufficient knowledge and confidence to act on the underlying problem, rather than the presenting problem.
A young person presenting as difficult, unreasonable or disruptive may actually be suffering from MH issues. Through MAST training staff will be better equipped to identify MH issues at an early stage, and provide an effective response. The result will be a safer environment, better safeguarded young people, and an improved learning environment for pupils. A preventative approach will ensure that young people are better supported before a crisis point is reached. 


Mental Health Support & Suicide Prevention

If you are worried about a young person, you can get advice from one of the following organisations or refer them directly:

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