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PGDip Education Mental Health Practitioner for Children and Young People

Train across educational settings and healthcare sectors as you learn to deliver low intensity interventions to support children and young people experiencing common mental health problems.

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  • Overview

    Covid-19 - Education Mental Health Practitioner for Children and Young People Essential Information

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    Course Length: 1 Year Full-Time
    Start Dates: January 2021, January 2022
    Subjects: Education and Teaching
    Health and Social Care
    Mental Health and Counselling
    Location: Edge Hill University

    The innovative role of an education mental health practitioner forms a key part of the Government’s newly formed Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) and the national Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies initiative. You will become employed by local participating mental health services and spend a training year undertaking this postgraduate diploma in which you will learn how to deliver low intensity evidence-based interventions to support children and young people facing common mental health problems. These include anxiety, low mood and behavioural difficulties. Through a combination of classroom-based learning and extensive practice experience, you will develop the expertise required to work effectively in child and adolescent mental health settings across both education and healthcare sectors. You will discover how the emerging role of an education mental health practitioner will support whole school approaches to mental health, identify common areas of adversity, disadvantage and risk among children and young people, and foster autonomy, independence and confidence in assessing, formulating and delivering low level interventions.

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    In Depth

    What will I study?

    The curriculum aligns with the work-based component of Health Education England’s Education Mental Health Practitioner training programme.

    The programme will equip you with the skills and knowledge required to work effectively to support child and adolescent mental health within an education context.

    Developing a good understanding of the incidence, prevalence and presentation of common mental health problems, you will gain core competencies in active listening, engagement, alliance building, patient-centred information gathering, information giving and shared decision-making.

    You will learn about the theory and practice of undertaking assessment and facilitating engagement, including how to complete child-centred interviews which identify a child or young person’s difficulties, goals, strengths, risk to self or others, and the context of the child in their family and wider social environment.

    Examining the research surrounding children and young people’s development, psychology, and child and adolescent mental health, you will explore evidence-based interventions for common mental health problems in children and young people, informed by behaviour change models and strategies. You will also develop the skills required to help children and young people to understand, tolerate and adapt to the negative emotions that they are experiencing.

    How will I study?

    The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, critical debate, case studies, problem-based learning, independent study and professional practice.

    Commencing with a three-day induction, the programme will typically feature an initial period of classroom-based delivery for three days a week, with two days in practice, for a period of 4-8 weeks.

    Following this, there will usually be a transition to three days per week in practice-based settings, with two days a week of classroom-based delivery.

    These arrangements are subject to change and are reviewed for each cohort in response to collaboration with partner mental health services.

    It is expected that trainees will complete a minimum of 80 hours of clinical practice, see a minimum of eight appropriate cases and receive a minimum of 40 hours supervision. This will include 20 hours of case management and 20 hours of clinical skills in practice.

    How will I be assessed?

    You will be assessed through a combination of assignments, examinations, project work, report writing and simulated assessments. These will include video recordings, individual and group presentations, reflective portfolios, and traditional written assignments.

    You will also need to evidence whole school-working in education settings and include evidence of supporting peer mentoring, providing staff training or running a psycho-education workshop.

    In addition to this, you will conduct groupwork with children, young people or parents or provide a piece of consultation work.

    Who will be teaching me?

    You will be taught by professionals with expertise across disciplines including health, education, the children’s workforce, public health, sociology, psychology, criminal justice, counselling and psychotherapy, ethics and law.

    The programme team have practical experience working in the children and young people’s sector as health visitors, school nurses, mental health nurses, youth justice professionals, social workers, psychologists, child and adolescent mental health services’ practitioners, counsellors and psychotherapists. All of these roles involve dealing with the long-term consequences of mental health issues not being addressed at an early age.

    Associate tutors and guest lecturers, who have specialist knowledge of working with vulnerable children and adolescents, will also contribute to programme delivery.

    A Great Study Environment

    Four students talk while sat round a table in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine.The Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine is one of the leading providers of education and training for health and social care professionals in the North West of England.

    Offering some of the best facilities for health, social care and medicine students in the country, the outstanding teaching and learning resources include leading edge clinical skills facilities, an 860-seat lecture theatre, and a variety of teaching rooms and social learning spaces.

    The faculty is home to a thriving research culture which includes a series of staff and student conference programmes, guest lectures and seminars, as well as active research groups.

    Modules

    Expand All

    HUG4040Children and Young People's Mental Health Settings: Context and Values (20 credits)

    Children and Young People’s Mental Health Settings: Context and Values will instil a commitment to equal opportunities for all as you discover how to encourage children and young people’s active participation in every aspect of treatment and care. The module will introduce the concepts of diversity, inclusion and multi-culturalism and equip you with the necessary knowledge, attitudes and competencies to operate in an inclusive value-driven service. You will learn to manage caseloads, operate safely and to high standards, using supervision to aid your clinical decision-making. You will also be guided in how to recognise the limitations of your role and individual expertise and discover how and when to direct children, young people and their families to resources appropriate to their needs. This will include step-ups to high-intensity therapy.


    Assessment: Coursework: 30%, Written Exam(s): 20%, Practical(s): 50%.

    HUG4041Assessment and Engagement (20 credits)

    Assessment and Engagement equips you with a good understanding of the incidence, prevalence and presentation of common mental health problems experienced by children and young people, as well as evidence-based treatment choices. You will develop core competences in active listening, engagement, alliance building, patient-centred information gathering, information-giving and shared decision-making. The module will enable you to assess and identify areas of difficulty, including risk. It will also enable you to establish the main areas for change, establish and maintain a working therapeutic alliance, and engage a child, young person and their family in the self-management of recovery. Identifying and differentiating between common mental health problems in children and young people, you will learn how to navigate and signpost to appropriate interventions and use routine outcome measures and standardised assessment tools effectively.


    Assessment: Coursework: 75%, Practical(s): 25%.

    HUG4042Evidence-Based Interventions for Common Mental Health Problems with Children and Young People (Theory and Skills) (20 credits)

    Evidence-Based Interventions for Common Mental Health Problems with Children and Young People (Theory and Skills) equips you with an understanding of the process of therapeutic support. The module will also guide you in the management of individual children and young people who are experiencing anxiety, low mood or behavioural difficulties, including how to support their parents and carers. You will develop general and disorder-defined ‘specific factor’ competencies in the delivery of low intensity treatments, informed by cognitive-behavioural and social learning principles. Examples of support for a range of low intensity self-help interventions include behavioural activation, exposure, cognitive restructuring, problem solving, cognitive behavioural therapy-informed sleep management, parent training and computerised cognitive behavioural therapy packages, as well as supporting physical exercise. The overall delivery of these interventions will be informed by behaviour change models and strategies.


    Assessment: Coursework: 50%, Practical(s): 50%.

    HUG4043Working, Assessing and Engaging in Education Settings (20 credits)

    Working, Assessing and Engaging in Education Settings focuses on the educational context and the assessment and engagement of children, young people and their families in educational settings. The module will first equip you with an understanding of the education setting and the context in which you will be working, including legislative and policy frameworks, how schools and colleges are organised, and the challenges of working with mental health issues in an educational setting. You will then learn assessment and engagement skills specific to educational settings. This includes engagement skills with children and young people, families and education staff, as well as  assessment, diagnosis and signposting skills and neurological development.


    Assessment: Coursework: 40%, Practical(s): 60%.

    HUG4044Common Problems and Processes in Education Settings (20 credits)

    Common Problems and Processes in Education Settings explores the theory and research evidence in relation to child development and child and adolescent mental health. The aim of the module is to understand children and young people’s development and consider effective strategies to increase support from their community of teachers, peers and family members. You will discover how psychological theories, models and psychoeducation can be used to help children and young people understand, tolerate and adapt to negative or distressing emotions such as worry, sadness, anger and frustration. You will also gain an understanding of common problems and experiences, including areas of adversity and disadvantage, while developing skills to support education staff. This will be through a combination of training, implementing peer mentoring approaches and supporting classroom management in education settings. The module will explore the complexity of the health, educational and social needs of children, young people and their families and examine the services available to support young people’s mental health. Developing an understanding of what constitutes high intensity specialist child and adolescent mental health services and psychological treatment, you will gain insight into how this differs from low intensity universal work within education settings.


    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    HUG4045Interventions for Emerging Mental Health Difficulties in Education Settings (20 credits)

    Interventions for Emerging Mental Health Difficulties in Education Settings equips you with a good understanding of the process of consultation and group work in schools and colleges. The module recognises the need to develop an awareness of emerging mental health difficulties in education settings and equips you with three key intervention skills. The first of these is consultation skills. You will learn how to advise and support teachers and other school and college staff about the psychological effects of common problems in children and adolescents. Secondly, process consultation skills will provide a framework for you to offer consultation to staff in relation to specific groups of children or young people, or in relation to individual children. The third area of expertise will be intervention skills which you will be taught in relation to the delivery of training and psychological support to groups of children, young people, their parents or carers, and teachers. The key principles of working with groups and classes will be addressed so that you are able to prepare appropriate materials, manage group processes, and deliver training and/or support groups confidently up to a maximum size of 30.


    Assessment: Coursework: 50%, Practical(s): 50%.

    Timetables

    You can expect to receive your timetable at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day or evening of the week.

    Disclaimer

    Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

    Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

    Entry Criteria

    Entry Requirements

    You should have a degree equivalent to UK first-class or second-class honours (2:2 or above) in a relevant subject, such as child health and wellbeing, child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing, psychology, or early years, primary or secondary education. GCSE English Language and GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent) is also required.

    Experience of working with children and young people and/or in mental health/education settings is desirable.

    An interview forms part of the selection process.

    If you accept a formal offer from Edge Hill University you will be required to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure indicating that you meet the mandatory criteria of ‘Clearance to Work with Children and/or Vulnerable Adults’. Further information will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.

    Career Prospects

    What are my career prospects?

    Child and adolescent mental health services are being transformed across England as part of a Government strategy to ensure that services are available within schools, third-sector voluntary agencies and the private sector. New roles are being created to deliver evidence-based brief psychological interventions in these settings.

    On successful completion of this programme, you will be eligible to apply for Band 5 education mental health practitioner posts supporting children and young people, as well as their parents or carers. Your experience of intensive practice-based sessions and multi-agency working while training will further enhance your employability and ensure you have a variety of options for career progression.

    You may also wish to pursue further study, including the opportunity to progress to a Masters degree through the completion of a 60-credit dissertation.

    Finance

    Tuition Fees

    Tuition fees will be paid by Health Education England.

    Financial Support

    You will be funded at NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) Band 4 level for the twelve months of study.

    Further information about pay and benefits in the NHS is available at www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/working-health/pay-and-benefits.

    Apply

    How to Apply

    Apply online through NHS Jobs at jobs.nhs.uk.

    We recommend interested applicants create an account with NHS Jobs and set up an email alert to search ‘Education Mental Health Practitioner’. You will then be made aware when posts go out to advert. 

    Successful candidates will be employed by a specific NHS Trust and released to train at Edge Hill University.

    Visit Us

    If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at www.edgehill.ac.uk/opendays.

    Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about our full range of events for prospective students, including campus tours and virtual activities, at www.edgehill.ac.uk/visitus.

    Request a Prospectus

    If you would like to explore our full range of taught Masters degrees, MBA awards and our Masters by Research (MRes) degree before you apply, you can order a postgraduate prospectus at www.edgehill.ac.uk/postgradprospectus.

    Get in Touch

    If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

    If you would like to talk to the programme leader about the course in more detail, please contact:

    International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international or email international@edgehill.ac.uk with any queries about overseas study.

    Course Changes

    Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

    This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years. No material changes have been made to the information for this programme in that time. Any future amends will be tracked here.

    Covid-19 - Education Mental Health Practitioner for Children and Young People Essential Information

    Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University in 2020

    In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.


    Campus Facilities at Edge Hill University in 2020

    In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.