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Nurses offered study grants to help solve youth mental heath crisis

Three-year programme will help nurses undertake postgraduate study to improve care and support for children and young people with mental health problems
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Three-year programme will help nurses undertake postgraduate study to improve care and support for children and young people with mental health problems

Nurses will be offered grants for postgraduate study under a new programme to improve care and support for children and young people with mental health problems.

The three-year programme, launched by the RCN Foundation during Children’s Mental Health Week from 7-13 February, will also see the development of resources and training for non-specialist nurses working with young people.

It comes amid concern about

Three-year programme will help nurses undertake postgraduate study to improve care and support for children and young people with mental health problems

Picture shows a woman taking notes while talking to an adolescent girl
Picture: iStock

Nurses will be offered grants for postgraduate study under a new programme to improve care and support for children and young people with mental health problems.

The three-year programme, launched by the RCN Foundation during Children’s Mental Health Week from 7-13 February, will also see the development of resources and training for non-specialist nurses working with young people.

It comes amid concern about a growing mental health crisis among children and adolescents made worse by disruption and stress caused by the pandemic.

A report by the Children’s Commissioner for England, published earlier this month, found as many as one in six children have a probable mental health disorder.

Nurses in non-specialist settings are often the first to identify symptoms in children and young people

RCN Foundation director Deepa Korea said: ‘Developing the practical tools and guidance that nurses need and supporting them with education grants will enable us to tackle head-on the growing mental health crisis facing children and young people.’

The project was prompted by a 2019 review by Sheffield Hallam University – funded by the RCN Foundation – which found nurses working in a range of non-specialist settings were often the first to identify symptoms of poor mental health in children and young people.

These included school nurses, health visitors and emergency care nurses. However, the research found they often lacked the skills and training needed to support young patients in crisis.

The programme will involve the creation of a range of online resources, including an online training course, specifically designed for non-specialist nurses working with children and young people.

Funding has already been awarded to the University of Huddersfield to develop an app that will help nurses carry out mental health assessments, cultivate therapeutic relationships and identify appropriate interventions.

Meanwhile, £20,000 from the Leathersellers’ Company Charitable Fund plus £10,000 from the RCN Foundation will go towards grants for postgraduate study in mental health care for young people.

Applications for the grants will open in June this year.


Find out more

Children’s commissioner: Briefing on Children’s Mental Health Services – 2020-21

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