Exploring professionals’ perceptions of children’s mental health: an exploratory study using focus groups

King, Caroline (2013). Exploring professionals’ perceptions of children’s mental health: an exploratory study using focus groups. University of Birmingham. Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.

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The global concern of mental health difficulties amongst children and young people has been widely reported over recent decades. Consequences of unmet need highlight financial, societal, and quality of life considerations. Research indicates that some staff responsible for supporting children’s mental health do not feel sufficiently skilled to address difficulties. Furthermore, there is wide variety in organisational structures of mental health services, with little known about the effects of such contexts upon the support children receive. This research consequently explored how professionals view the concept of mental health, perceptions regarding their role in identification and support, perceived competency in addressing difficulties, barriers and facilitative factors, and effects of the working environment upon support for children’s mental health difficulties. Five focus groups were conducted, each with a different professional group working in children’s services, including practitioners from health and educational contexts. Findings were analysed using thematic networks, a framework for qualitative data analysis. Participants made a number of recommendations to improve service delivery, including enhanced training opportunities, increased mental health resources to assist practitioners in intervening using an evidence-based approach, and the development of stronger links across tiers of working.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/4310


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