SAMH and ECHC team up for young people’s mental health

19th November 2019

SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) is delivering a new programme of support to young people in Edinburgh which aims to build capacity in schools and help tackle the growing demand for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), thanks to funding from the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC).

Working in Castlebrae High School in Craigmillar and in partnership with the Edinburgh CAMHS team, SAMH is delivering a guided self-help  programme called Living Life To The Full. This will be delivered in both classroom and one-to-one sessions with pupils; and training school staff to deliver the programme themselves.

Young people who have their referral to Edinburgh CAMHS rejected, or who are awaiting their first appointment with the service, can also self-refer to the Living Life To The Full programme, which will be delivered in a community setting by SAMH staff.

Graeme Henderson, Executive Director of Delivery and Strategic Development at SAMH said:

“We’re delighted to be delivering this pilot programme which we hope will improve young people’s awareness and understanding of mental health and wellbeing, and help them to build resilience to deal with daily challenges.

“As well as building capacity within Castlebrae High School, we’re also providing a quick and effective offering to young people who don’t qualify for, or are waiting for their first appointment with, specialist mental health services.

“We hope that this service will help young people and their families when they most need support.”

Roslyn Neely, CEO of Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, said:

“We have funded our own programme of guided self-help at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children for over 12 years, so we are very pleased to be partnering with SAMH to help young people get the support they need with their mental health and wellbeing at school.

“This is a hugely valuable and worthwhile service which will transform the lives of young people by providing early intervention for those impacted by mental health, as well as offering an alternative route for those waiting for or unable to access mental health services.”

Living Life to the Full, which was designed by Professor Chris Williams of the University of Glasgow and Five Areas Ltd. It aims to help young people tackle negative thoughts, overcome low confidence, and learn techniques for coping with difficult emotions.

Professor Chris Williams said:

“There are so many challenges facing young people that life often seems overwhelming to them. Living Life To The Full for Young People helps them work out why they feel as they do, and teaches key practical skills they can use in their everyday lives.”

Eilidh Prior, Support for Learning Teacher at Castlebrae High said:

“Castlebrae is delighted to further develop our successful partnership with SAMH through piloting the Living Life To The Full project. We are committed to developing our students understanding of mental health and supporting them in any way that we can to improve their confidence and resilience. As a team we understand the importance of early intervention and the positive impact this will have within our school community.”