Funding call

to support children and young people's mental health

RCN Foundation launches funding call to support nursing-led assessment of children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

The call asks for applications from individuals or organisations to develop an App which hosts a limited data set of evidence-based assessment tools, which aim to make the assessment of children and young people with mental health and emotional wellbeing concerns more efficient, streamlined, and effective. The App will form one component of a broader toolkit to support assessment and nurse-led interventions to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people (CYP).

Improving the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people through nursing-led interventions is a key grant-making priority for the RCN Foundation. During the first wave of COVID-19, clinically significant mental health conditions amongst children in the UK rose by 50% compared to three years earlier and 1 in 6 children now have a probable mental health condition.

Through their engagement with children in non-stigmatising environments such as schools and  home and community settings, nurses, including school nurses and health visitors, are ideally placed to address children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing, enabling early interventions and improved access to support.

In 2019, the Foundation funded Sheffield Hallam University to undertake a scoping review to identify the available evidence on nursing-led interventions that support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of CYP.  They reported  that non mental health trained nurses such as school nurses, health visitors or emergency department nurses, are well-placed to deliver screening and assessments, relieving pressure on more specialist, acute Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services.  The review also found such non-specialist nurses would benefit from a toolkit and training relating to assessment and early nurse-led interventions to manage CYP mental health and emotional well-being across a variety of settings.

The RCN Foundation is now launching this funding call based upon the recommendations from this review. Funding is available up to the value of £30,000 and the project should be undertaken in 2021-2022. The Foundation welcomes applications that will produce outputs that demonstrate originality and innovation.   

The project must cover initiatives in all four countries of the UK and include consultation with nurses, midwives and healthcare support workers caring for children and young people. The lived experience of CYP and their parents/carers must also be included.

Closing date for applications is 06 August 2021.

Deepa Korea, RCN Foundation Director, says:

“Whilst mental health and emotional wellbeing issues affect people across the lifespan, the impact on children and young people is particularly acute. The wellbeing of children in the UK remains relatively low compared with other countries, with a downward trend reported overall. We are therefore delighted to launch this funding call, which forms part of our ongoing programme of work to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people through nursing-led interventions. This App will improve the speed of access to much-needed care and support for children and young people.”

You can download the application pack here, which includes further information on the call.