Emotional health and wellbeing CPD for school nurses

Littler, Nadine (2014) Emotional health and wellbeing CPD for school nurses. British Journal of School Nursing, 9 (5). p. 258. Full text not available from this repository.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.12968/bjsn.2014.9.5.258


Emotional health and wellbeing CPD for school nurses T he emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people is a significant public health issue. If figures of mental health disorders continue to rise at their current rate, by 2020 mental ill health may become one of five leading causes of childhood illness, disability and death (WHO, 2004). While it is not definitive why this public health issue continues to rise, several triggers have been associated with the deterioration in mental health in young people. These triggers include: pressure to achieve educationally, perfection relating to body image, consumerism, competition for jobs in a rising unemployment market, family breakdown and access to social media 24-hours a day (Young Minds, 2014). Furthermore it has been found that the adult brain does not fully develop until the age of 25 years thus creating a combination of factors, which make young people susceptible to developing mental health issues during this formative stage. Consequently this has led to a paradigm shift in the school nursing service over the last decade, with an ever increasing focus on the emotional health of children and young people. School nurses are involved in a range of complex psychological and emotional disorders; for example, with children as young as 5 experiencing anxiety and/or displaying signs of conduct disorder through to adolescents with eating disorders, who deliberately self-harming and/or with depression. Nonetheless school nurses are in a unique position to identify, support and manage children and young people with their emotional health through their public health role, which involves early intervention, health prevention and education (Haddad et al, 2010) across all service levels from Universal to Universal Partnership Plus (Department of Health (DH), 2012a). However, despite this being an extensive aspect of the school nursing role today, practitioners have expressed concern about a lack of confidence, training and skills, which create barriers to supporting children and young people with mental health issues confidently. Therefore, the development of continuous professional development (CPD) for school nurses in mental health training is an absolute necessity in the current health-care landscape, in order to sustain, improve and increase professional competence (Cooke and James, 2009). Although school nurses complete mental health components throughout the Specialist Community Public Health (SCPHN) programme during their training to become specialist practitioners, there is still a commitment to lifelong learning through undertaking CPD in order to ensure skills, knowledge and training are up-to-date and correlate with the current service needs (NMC, 2004). The implementation of the emotional health and wellbeing care pathway (DH, 2012a) and the recommendation from the Children and Young People's Forum (DH, 2012b) that a survey on mental health in children and young people should be commissioned and published annually are particularly encouraging. This will raise the profile of addressing the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people through improving the evidence base and providing a framework for local authorities and health and wellbeing boards to meet current and future need (DH, 2012a). Local education training boards and commissioners will be required to support inter-professional learning and staff development to address emotional health and wellbeing needs locally through the development of CPD courses for school nurses. This will assist school nurses to develop the skills and confidence required to assess, manage and support young people experiencing psychological and emotional disorders, as part of their challenging role, on a day-today basis. The focus of any CPD courses should therefore be based upon experiential learning that supports practice through reflection and the use of teaching and learning strategies, such as: role play, problem-based learning, case studies and training in cognitive behavioural and solution-focused psychological therapies (Cooke and James, 2009), to ensure that training is fit for practice and to enhance service delivery for all.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal of School Nursing
Publisher: Mark Allen Healthcare
ISSN: 1752-2803
Departments: Faculty of Health and Science > Health, Psychology and Social Studies
Pre 2016 Departments: Faculty of Health and Science > Lifelong and Interprofessional Learning
Additional Information: Nadine Littler is Lecturer/Pathway Lead Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (School Nursing), University of Cumbria, UK.
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2015 17:23
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2017 11:30
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/1683

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