PYMEAC-Engagement and Assessment of Common Mental Health Problems in Children and Young People

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Ms Pam Myles


Summary module description:

Children and Young People’s Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (CYP PWPs) assess and support children and young people (CYP) with common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. To do so they must be able to undertake a robust patient-centered assessment and be able to identify the main areas of concern relevant to the assessment undertaken. This module provides training in conducting assessment and includes: assessment of presenting difficulties; risk assessment; provisional diagnostic assessment; mental health clustering assessment; psychometric assessment (using CYP IAPT routine outcome monitoring - ROM); problem-focused assessment; and intervention planning. In all these areas of assessment CYP PWPs need to be able to engage children, young people and their carers, and establish an appropriate relationship whilst gathering information in a collaborative manner.


Students will develop knowledge of mental health disorders affecting CYP, and the evidence-based therapeutic options available, and be able to communicate this knowledge in a clear and unambiguous way so that informed treatment choices can be made. In addition, they will develop knowledge of behavior change models and how these can inform choice of goals and interventions. This module will, therefore, equip CYP PWPs with a good understanding of the incidence, prevalence and presentation of common mental health problems in CYP, and evidenced-based treatment choices. Skills teaching will develop CYP PWPs’ core ‘common factors’ competencies of active listening, engagement, alliance building, patient-centered information gathering, information giving and shared decision making.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students must demonstrate

1) knowledge, understanding and critical awareness of concepts of mental health and mental illness, diagnostic category systems in mental health of children and  young people and a range of social, medical and psychological explanatory models.

2) knowledge of, and competence in applying the principles, purposes and different elements of assessment undertaken with CYP presenting with common mental health problems.

3) knowledge of, and competence in using ‘common factors’ to engage CYP, gather information, build a therapeutic alliance, manage the emotional content of sessions and grasp the CYP’s perspective or “world view”.

4) knowledge of, and competence in ‘patient-centred’ information gathering to arrive at a succinct and collaborative definition of the CYP’s main mental health difficulties and the impact this has on their daily lives.

5) knowledge of, and competence in recognising patterns of symptoms consistent with diagnostic categories of mental disorder from a patient-centred interview and able to assess and recognise any risks to self and others posed by CYPs.

6) knowledge of, and competence in accurate risk assessment to CYP or others

7) knowledge of, and competence in the use of standardised routine outcome measures to aid problem recognition and definition, and subsequent decision making.

8) knowledge, understanding and competence in using behaviour change models in identifying intervention goals and choice of appropriate interventions.

9) knowledge of, and competence in giving evidence-based information about treatment choices and in making shared decisions with CYP.

10) competence in understanding the CYP’s attitude to a range of evidence-based psychological treatments.

11) competence in accurate recording of interviews and questionnaire assessments using paper and electronic record keeping systems.


Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Knowledge will be learnt through a combination of lectures, seminars, discussion groups, guided reading, self-practice/self-reflection activities, problem-based learning tasks, and independent study. Skills based competencies will be learnt through a combination of clinical simulation in small groups working intensively under close supervision with peer and tutor feedback and supervised practice through supervised direct contact with patients in the workplace.

Contact hours:

• 17 days in total

• 10 days to be spent in class in theoretical teaching and clinical simulation, the other 7 days to be spent in the workplace undertaking practice-based learning and supervision


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Total hours by term
Total hours for module

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

Other information on summative assessment:

  1. A video-recording of an assessment session where trainees are required to demonstrate skills in engagement, information gathering, information giving and shared decision making in a problem-focused assessment. This will be assessed using a standardised assessment measure.

  2. A 2000 word reflective commentary on their performance in the video recording.

  3. These 2 assessments are equally weighted.

  4.  Successful completion of the following practice outcomes, to be assessed by means of a practice outcomes portfolio and signed off as satisfactory (PO 4, PO 5 and PO 6).

  • (PO4) Demonstrates competency in undertaking and recording all aspects of a robust assessment including risk assessment and use of routine outcome measures.

  • (PO5) Demonstrates experience and competence in the assessment of presenting problems across a range of indicative diagnoses including depression and two or more anxiety disorders.

  • (PO6) Demonstrates the common factor competencies necessary to engage CYP in assessment.

Formative assessment methods:

A standardised role-play scenario of an assessment.  This assessment will be video recorded and assessed by teaching staff using a standardised assessment measure.  Should the assessment be marked as fail, the student will be required to repeat the assessment in the workplace and for the workplace supervisor to sign off on competence before the student can submit a recording of a session with a child or young person.  A passed mark sheet from either the university or the workplace sits in the summative portfolio submitted at the end of the programme.  

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:

A mark of at least 50% in the skills-based assessment (Assessment number 1).

A mark of at least 50% in the academic based assessment (Assessment number 2).

A mark of ‘satisfactory’ on the practice outcomes (Assessment number 3).

A minimum of 100% attendance is required.

Reassessment arrangements:

Students who do not obtain the required pass mark in the assessed work will be given the opportunity to resubmit, on one further occasion, any individual assessment that has been failed. The re-sit grade cannot exceed 50%. A top-up week will be held after the end of the course, giving students the opportunity to complete any teaching sessions or assessments that were missed.  Students must successfully pass all modules of the CYP PWP training programme.   

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 9 May 2017

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