Health and education: service providers in partnership to improve mental health
Children and adolescents from complex or disadvantaged backgrounds and multiple needs often are reluctant to seek help and this is particularly relevant in the context of mental health difficulties. Further, the complexity of the health system can be overwhelming to the family who are likely to be chaotic and less able to seek help.
The current project piloted an integrated service delivery model involving a child psychiatry service and the department of education to promote access to mental health assessment and intervention to young people attending special education schools in Sydney, Australia.Findings and conclusionThe project allowed improved access to mental health services for a group of young people who would otherwise not have sought help through traditional referral pathways. Our findings support strategies to promote the social milieu of schools as a way of achieving better mental health and learning outcomes.