Evaluation of the REP project: the Rossie-Elms mental health and well-being project

Lerpiniere, J.A. and Paul, S.M. and Milligan, I.M. and Kendrick, A. (2006) Evaluation of the REP project: the Rossie-Elms mental health and well-being project. Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care. (http://www.sircc.org.uk/node/791)

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Introduction: The Rossie/Elms Project (REP) is a specialist mental health project providing services to young people looked after in Rossie Secure Accommodation Services and the Elms Secure Unit. In February 2003 a partnership proposal was submitted by Dundee City Council and Rossie Secure Accommodation Services to obtain funding from the Intensive Support Fund. The funding was to be used to obtain specialist mental health services from Tayside Primary Care NHS Trust. The proposal was submitted on the basis that looked after young people are more likely to experience mental health problems than the general population of young people and to encounter a greater number of 'systematic and personal barriers' to accessing appropriate services (Kendrick, Milligan and Furnivall 2004, Meltzer et al 2003, Richardson and Lelliot 2003, Ridley 2001). The proposal addressed recommendations by the Social Work Services Inspectorate Report (1996) to explore opportunities for fast tracking access to psychiatric and psychological services for young people in secure care. The key elements of the mental health service were: • To promote good mental health and wellbeing • To identify and provide needed therapeutic interventions for young people in secure care • To provide specialist advice and consultancy to staff in order to improve assessment, care planning and the delivery of secure care In May 2003 REP was awarded funding for three years to offer a mental health service within Rossie Secure Accommodation and the Elms Secure Unit. Rossie Secure Accommodation service is located five miles south of Montrose and has places for 28 young people across four units. The Elms Secure Unit, located in Dundee City, is a custom built unit attached to a close support unit. It is licensed for 4 young people staying for a maximum of three months. The first project workers were appointed in September 2003. This included one full time Psychiatric Nurse and a part-time Consultant Psychiatrist. In April 2004, one project worker left the project owing to a promotion. Subsequently two full-time project workers were appointed and in October 2004, a part time secretary was hired. At the time of this report funding enables two full-time Mental Health Workers, a part time Consultant Psychiatrist and one part-time post for secretarial support to be employed across the two units. The project has now been in operation for 2.5 years.