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Psychological perspectives in education and primary care (PPEPCare)

PPEPCare has been designed to help staff in primary care, education and other professionals to recognise and understand mental health difficulties in children and young people (CYP) and offer appropriate support and guidance to children, young people and their families using psycho-education and relevant psychological techniques (e.g. using a cognitive behavioural framework). Training consists of didactic teaching, experiential learning, group discussion and DVD material and is delivered by appropriately qualified and supported staff from local CAMHS and local authority services.

How long does the training take and where can it be delivered?

The training can be delivered in a flexible fashion to suit your needs and time available – from 30 minutes over lunchtime to a half-day or full-day session. Trainers can travel to GP surgeries, hospitals, schools and other appropriate locations and sessions are delivered FREE of charge by specially trained local CAMHS staff.

What does it cover?

PPEPCare modules were developed following consultation with primary healthcare professionals (including GPs), teachers and other school staff. Teaching materials have been written by national and international experts.

Overview of common mental health issues in children and young people

This training offers a brief introduction to the mental health issues often seen by professionals in front line work with CYP. It highlights risk issues and local and national resources. It is primarily an information giving session designed to help staff identify mental health issues and identify appropriate help for children, young people and their families.

NOW – Having constructive conversations with distressed young people

In this module we explore how to recognize distress, how it may present in young people and how to respond in the moment. We will develop understanding of the changes to teenage brains and how this impacts the young person. We will identify the barriers to effective communication and develop relevant skills to effectively communicate with distressed young people. This module will provide a structure known as ‘NOW’ to facilitate helpful and constructive conversations with children and young people

Supporting young people with low mood

This training explores what depression is, how it may present in young people, and how it may differ from ‘normal’ adolescent mood difficulties. The session looks at how low mood and depression may be maintained and explores some useful techniques (specifically behavioural activation) that can be used to break the maintenance cycles.

Supporting young people with anxiety

This training explores the presentation of anxiety in adolescence and how to talk with young people about this. It highlights the difference between appropriate levels of anxiety and when additional help might be needed. It explores what might keep anxiety going and provides an overview of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – an evidence-based treatment for anxiety – as well as a number of useful techniques which can be adapted for the primary care or school setting.

Supporting young people who self-harm

This training explores what self-harm is and how it might present. It explores why young people might self-harm and helps to challenge commonly held assumptions. The session includes guidance around how to talk to young people who may be self-harming, confidentiality, dealing with your own feelings and supporting young people with alternative strategies.

Behavioural difficulties – supporting children and their parents via a parenting intervention

This module looks at conduct disorder and challenging behaviours and why it is important to offer support. It provides an overview of the key principles and components of a parenting programme and how this option might be introduced to parents.

Overcoming childhood anxiety

This session is aimed at managing anxiety in children under 12. It highlights when anxiety might be a problem (as opposed to a ‘normal’ developmental phase), describes different anxiety disorders and how these can be recognised and discussed. It explores why treatment is important and gives a detailed overview of a CBT approach aimed at parents. Key strategies to use within professional roles are highlighted, and the role of parental/adult behaviour (how they respond to the child’s anxiety) is explored.

Supporting young people with eating disorders

This training explores what eating disorders are and how they might present. It provides guidance around how to explore difficulties and risks in this area and includes information about useful questions to ask young people. It highlights the importance of referral to specialist services in Berkshire and what treatment might look like in this setting.

Autism awareness

This module will help you to develop a broad understanding children and young people on the Autism spectrum, in terms of key features and issues. It will help you to better understand the world through the eyes of a child or YP with ASD, and understand how best to support a child, with a number of practical strategies.

Autism and mental health

This module explores the relationship between autism and mental health. You will explore the way in which mental health problems develop and present in children and young people with ASD, with a particular focus on anxiety, depression and OCD. The module will explore ways to support young people and their families with ASD and mental health difficulties, including a number of different techniques to manage and regulate emotions.


This training looks at whole school and individual approaches to wellbeing and resilience. It offers and develops understanding of the importance of resilience in managing the challenges and conflicts in life. The training explores ideas about the brain, feelings and thoughts to promote resilience and utilises practical and visual resources to provide a shared language to describe emotions and mental health in everyday ways.

Supporting children and young people with OCD

This session explores what OCD is, how it presents and how you can assess it (including the kinds of questions that you might want to ask a child or young person). It explores factors that maintain OCD, and how you can help a young person to understand what might be maintaining their difficulties.

Supporting children and young people with specific phobia

This session has been designed to help and staff to assess specific phobias and employ basic CBT techniques with children and young people who present with specific phobia. The session highlights useful assessment questions and offers an introduction to the CBT model and treatment strategies (including graded exposure and managing physical symptoms).

Supporting children with separation anxiety disorder (SAD)

This session explores what SAD is and how it may present (including what ‘healthy’ versus ‘pathological’ separation anxiety might look like). Assessment strategies (including useful questions) are discussed and the role that attachment figures (e.g. parents/carers) may play in SAD is considered. Three key steps for overcoming SAD are explored, along with relevant psychoeducation that can be used to help support parents and carers.

Supporting young people with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

This session explores what PTSD is, and how it may present (including how it may present differently in children and young people). Assessment tools and useful questions are explored, as well as a description of why difficulties may persist. The session provides an introduction to CBT for children and young people who have experience trauma, and guidance is given around working with parents.

The training is not designed to turn primary care, school staff and others into psychological therapists, nor are they designed to replace existing CAMHS services. However, they do provide development opportunities to enhance knowledge and skill set of staff working with children, young people and their families to help them more readily identify mental health issues and support them and their families.


The module aims to help those working with children and young people to understand attachment theory and its importance to a child’s development. It explores how pupils with attachment difficulties present at school age. How to support children with attachment difficulties in school and the community.

Working with families

Explore systems theory using teaching, discussion and practical exercises to help you understand families and the impact of mental health issues. Develop a tool kit to support young people and their families. Focuses on practical skills to talk with families, particularly in challenging situations (including questions, reframing and exploring meanings) to promote change.


Recognizing ADHD and how it may present in children and young people. Understanding the diagnosis process and what medication may be prescribed. Understanding the challenges faced in school and home life. Strategies to support children and young people in educational and other settings.