January 2019 – Adolescent Mental Health – Self-Harm

January’s Multi- Professional Collaborative Learning (MCLG) session focused on Adolescent Mental Health.  Dr Louise Miller of the CCG spoke about the CAHMS redesign in Barnet and the use of digital well-being apps such as Kooth and Qwell.  She also looked for feedback from the groups regarding what they consider works well with the current service, and where there are gaps in the service, as well as considering how the pathway could work in the future, with both early help provision and with secondary care.

The groups considered the case study of a teenage girl who is self-harming.  This was followed by a talk by Dr Cathy Wainhouse, Consultant Adolescent and Child Psychiatrist, Barnet Adolescent Service.   Dr Wainhouse discussed in detail the rise in adolescent self-harm, emphasising the importance of looking at the reasons behind the self-harm before it can be treated.  She also highlighted the risk factors to look out for to identify adolescents who are potentially suicidal.

We invited five school welfare and pastoral leaders from a number of schools in Barnet to the MCLG event, and they welcomed the opportunity to share their perspectives and experiences with healthcare professionals. A year 7 leader from The Compton School said :

“I honestly think all secondary schools should have someone go to the session – invaluable in terms of empowering me as a teacher to help deal with self harm, as opposed to just referring the student to the GP”