Supporting more lives together

A new partnership will provide mental health support to thousands of children and young people across the Thames Valley.

Two leading charities will work collaboratively to provide comprehensive mental health support for children and young people (CYP) in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire (B.O.B). 

Announcement:

Response and One-Eighty announce a new strategic partnership.

This partnership will provide high-quality preventative mental health support services and intensive one-to-one interventions for children and young people with complex needs. 

This will be one of the few charity partnerships operating across the entire age range of 4 to 25 in the area. It will also bridge the gap between the health and education sectors, supporting young people with behavioural and mental health needs to re-engage with education.   

Together, this partnership will enable us to reach thousands more young people as a result. 

Why is the partnership important?

There is an urgent need for increased mental health support for our young people in schools across the region. Rates of probable mental health disorders have risen amongst the country’s young people since 2017. 

In 2020, it was estimated that 16.0% of children aged 5 to 16 years old (the equivalent of 5 young people in every classroom) [1] Had mental health needs. In addition, since the pandemic began, 80% of young people with mental health needs agreed that the coronavirus pandemic had made their mental health worse [2]. We realise now more than ever there is an unmet demand for more accessible mental health support that: 

  • Provides immediate support 
  • Builds resilience and coping mechanisms 
  • Promotes long-term wellbeing  

Working together, we will use our shared knowledge and resources to develop and deliver new and existing innovative mental health support programmes focusing on both prevention and intensive interventions. These programmes will align with objectives set out within the NHS Integrated Care System (ICS) Framework. 

What will we deliver?

Working together we will deliver the following programmes in conjunction with schools:

  • Make Me Smile – starting in the Autumn Term of 2021 with a pilot phase reaching over 240 primary school children in Oxfordshire. 

Following the pilot, our aim is that Make Me Smile will be delivered to every primary school across Oxfordshire, reaching up to 19,000 young people, with a further roll-out across B.O.B in years 2 and 3.

  • Standard & Transitional Summer Projects – running since 2014 and supporting over 175 young people across the primary and secondary age range, with one-to-one and group-work based educational, emotional, physical, and mental-health based activities, and transition support into the new academic year. We aim to double the number of places in the summer of 2022.
  • Wellbeing Support In Education – together, the organisations will explore mental health needs within schools to determine additional preventative mental-health projects for young people, in addition to providing training and supportive courses for staff that focus on a whole-school approach. These will include CBT+ courses, trauma-informed External Supervision support, and primary and secondary group-based projects

The Impact We Will Create 

  • A series of mental health services that will provide accessible support for children and young people from age 4 to 25.
  • A range of services from preventative group projects to intensive interventions that address more complex and immediate issues.
  • Holistic working with, and via, schools (the most effective way of reaching CYP who need help). This will enable schools to support their pupils with a broader range of issues that may be affecting attainment and wellbeing. 
  • Long-term sustainable behavioural, emotional, and mental health changes through applied evidence-based intervention strategies. 
  • Clear signposting to the new services from Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHs) to help young people find the appropriate support quickly and easily. 
  • One the few third sector collaboration that can support the full age range of 4-25 across BOB.
  • The aim is to work with all primary and secondary schools across BOB over the next three to five years. 


What our CEOs have to say 

John McLaughlin C.E.O. of Response said: 
“As mental health issues of children and young people continue to grow, organisations need to work together to ensure we make the most of the available resources to meet this demand. One-Eighty is a charity whose values closely align with Response. We’ve already worked together successfully to provide wellbeing training to schools and colleges across Oxfordshire. Through working together, we hope it will allow us to become further embedded into more schools, creating a service that makes mental health support the most accessible it can be for all young people.”

Susie Besant C.E.O of One-Eighty said:
“We are delighted to be working in collaboration with Response for this important and innovative project, which will positively impact hundreds of children and young people and has the potential to make a difference to the lives of thousands more across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire (BOB). We know the value of working with other specialist third sector organisations to ensure children and young people, with some of the most complex needs, are getting the best and most flexible and efficient support they can. As poor mental health rates rise and the full impact of the pandemic remains to be seen, there has never been a more crucial time to bring our knowledge and expertise together to bring about long-term sustainable change for children and young people across the area.”