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: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Hannah Whitney


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Children and Young People’s Wellbeing Practitioners (CYP WPs) and Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs) 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-centred 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 - ROMs); problem-focused assessment; and intervention planning. In all these areas of assessment students 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 behaviour change models and how these can inform choice of goals and interventions. This module will, therefore, equip students 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 students’ core ‘common factors’ competencies of active listening, engagement, alliance building, patient-centred 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:

The module will comprise of in-class teaching, clinical skills practice/supervised clinical practice, supervision in-service and independent study.

Clinical Supervision

• Each student will have clinical supervision weekly in a group of no more than 6.

• Recorded material from training cases should be included at some point during a significant majority of supervision sessions.

At the end of the course when clinical work has been completed the supervisor will be asked to complete a pro-forma assessment form and indicate whether or not a student has reached a satisfactory level of clinical practice.

The teaching will be supplemented by an equivalent number of hours of clinical practice in the workplace under supervision of an experienced practitioner and supervisor.


Global context:

The content follows a national curriculum.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The aims of this module will be achieved through a series 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. In addition, they will be supplemented by e-learning material and experience of assessment and treatment of clients within the workplace (under close supervision in the workplace). Teaching will be provided by course tutors, with some national and international experts where appropriate.  

Contact hours:

•  To include approximately 9 days in total to be split between in class teaching in theoretical teaching and clinical simulation, and the other days to be spent in the workplace undertaking practice-based learning and e-learning activities. These will last from 9.30 to 4.30 p.m. Unless otherwise stated, all teaching days comprise of 50% clinical skills practice.

Teaching contact hours:

The total minimum teaching contact hours (including clinical skills workshops) across all modules for the WP course is 172.5 hours (30 University days; including workplace-based learning days).

The total minimum teaching contact hours (including clinical skills workshops) for the EMHP course is 368 hours (64 University days; including workplace-based learning days).


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 51.75 5.75
Guided independent study 128.25 14.25
Total hours by term 180.00 20.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Practical skills assessment 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There are three parts to this assessment.

  1. ? A practical skills assessment where trainees are required to demonstrate skills in engagement, assessment, information giving and shared decision making. The recording will be assessed using a standardised assessment measure. The assessment session must be with an adolescent with an anxiety disorder or a session with a parent accessing parent-led work (for a child experiencing anxiety or behavioural difficulties). The client must be a different presentation to the recording submitted in PY3LIC (e.g. if a parenting client is submitted for PY3EAC, a behavioural treatment of anxiety must be submitted for PY3LIC).

  2. A written assignment on their work with the client in the practical skills assessment above (assessment 1) to include reflection on their clinical skills in the session.

These 2 assessments are equally weighted.

  1. 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).

Formative assessment methods:

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:

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of at least 50% (and no auto fails) 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 ‘Pass’ on the practice outcomes (assessment number 3).

For WP for CYPs (graduate and postgraduate certificates), a minimum of 100% attendance is required. For EMHPs (graduate and postgraduate diploma), a minimum of 80% attendance is required. Note that certain teaching is mandatory (highlighted on timetable) for all students. Any student that misses a mandatory teaching session must attend a termly top-up meeting as scheduled in the timetable.

If, for any reason, a student does not complete the required attendance for their programme or requires further study in a particular area then they will be expected to attend the relevant top-up days.  The exact nature of the top-up days will be flexible in response to the needs of the individual students whereby they catch up on missed teaching, or assessments.  The top-up days require attendance in person.  Additional learning and self-study will take place remotely.  Students must ensure they are available to attend the University in person for all the top-up days, and not make any other arrangements during that time (e.g. book annual leave).  In practice, full attendance for all the top-up days may not be required.  If attendance falls below 80% for any module it will not be possible to use top-up days to compensate for missed sessions; this will need to be attended with another cohort.

Level 7 students will be expected to evidence in-depth understanding of the topic and critical analytic skills in academic assessments.

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 resit grade cannot exceed 50% for the academic assessment.

Completion of studies is dependent on employment within a CAMHS partnership of the Central and South CYP IAPT Collaborative and ongoing access to a CYP IAPT appropriate clinical caseload. Students must successfully pass all modules of the training programme. Therefore a student’s studies may be terminated if they are no longer working in a partnership service, no longer have access to an ongoing CYP IAPT appropriate caseload, or fail coursework at second attempt.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 14 December 2018


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