The Best team in Salford is linked to 23 primary schools and four secondary schools. It’s success means it is often asked for help by schools outside the programme.
The team has a fast-track route for referring children and young people to the child and adolescent mental health service, but it’s principal focus is on early intervention. Co-ordinator Chris Rourke says: “We do more observations now.
It’s becoming more a question of taking a step back because a child may have communication rather than mental health difficulties. We try other interventions first rather than going straight to Camhs which is what a lot of people see as best.”
The team provides support sessions either on a one-to-one basis or in group sessions with children who have similar problems. It also acts as a link between children and families and other agencies. It can help children who have low self-esteem and are withdrawn, children who are disruptive at home or show aggressive behaviour and those unable to settle in school. Other issues include coping with separation, bereavement or a new environment, truancy and bullying.