In 2019 the RCN Foundation funded Sheffield Hallam University to undertake a scoping review into the provision of mental health care to children up to the age of 18 in the UK.
Where were the gaps in care? How might nurses in all settings, from schools to A&E, be supported to deliver the appropriate interventions?
Sheffield Hallam University undertook the scoping review and researched the different avenues available to nurses working with children and young people experiencing mental distress.
The research team reported that nurses who are not specifically trained in mental health care, such as school nurses, health visitors and emergency department nurses, are well-placed to deliver screening and assessments. Their interventions also relieve pressure on acute or specialist Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
The findings showed that non-specialist nurses would benefit from resources and training to aid the assessment and intervention processes. Support for these nurses can improve the outcomes and overall emotional wellbeing for children and young people across a variety of settings.
As a result of this review, the RCN Foundation and Leathersellers' Company have partnered to provide education grants to non-specialist nurses pursuing postgraduate qualifications in mental health provision for children and young people.