Published on: June 28, 2023
Carers Champions at our North East Lincolnshire mental health support team service are helping to support adult carers so they are more able to support children and young people.
The Compass GO…! service is leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of the Whole School Approach to mental health and wellbeing.
Suzanne Salter and Sophie Flett, Education Mental Health Practitioners at Compass GO…! have now received training so they can identify and support adults such as teachers and other school staff as well as their own colleagues.
She said: “The whole school approach includes support for children and for young people, making sure the environment is very mental health aware and the school staff are a significant part of that.”
She explained that staff at school may well be dealing with issues themselves. As Carers’ Champions for Compass GO, she and Suzanne can now help support those who are carers who need help – although they might not even have thought of themselves as performing a carer’s role.
Sophie said: “We believe that if staff in schools are in a good place themselves, then they are going to be much better able to support young people with their mental health.
“Adult carers tend to not necessarily see themselves as carers. They often just feel, ‘well, I’m just helping out my mother in law, I’m just a parent – when actually there’s a good chance they’re doing a lot more than that.”
Sophie and Suzanne are now training their colleagues on how to identify carers – often it is discovered during informal conversations.
Sophie continued: “Our local carers service has the shortest referral form and we will help staff in the schools we are working in to fill out the forms because a lot of adult carers tend to put themselves last and they might not do that themselves.
Speaking about her carers’ champion role, she added: “This extra strand of supporting adults to get support is very important to me. I am very passionate about it.”
Laura Lockett, Service Manager, said: “At Compass, we really do want to maximise our chances of helping children. Supporting school staff who are adult carers is very much part of the Whole School Approach to mental health and wellbeing.”