Background One in six five 16-year-olds have a probable mental health difficulty. Of these, almost half of older teenagers and a quarter of 11–16-year-olds report having self-harmed or attempted suicide. Currently, there is little research into mental health crisis services for young people, with little understanding of what services exist, who uses them, or what works best. Question ‘How are mental health crisis responses for children and young people up to the age of 25 sustained, experienced and integrated within their local systems of services’? Objectives To describe National Health Service (NHS), local authority, education and third sector approaches to the implementation and organisation of crisis care for children and young people across England and Wales.To identify eight contrasting case studies in which to evaluate how crisis services have developed and are currently organised, sustained, experienced and integrated within the context of their local systems of services.To compare and contrast these services in the context of the available international evidence, drawing out and disseminating clear implications for the design and delivery of future crisis responses for children and young people and their families. Methods A sequential mixed methods approach, underpinned by normalisation process theory will be employed. A survey will create a detailed record of how crisis responses across England and Wales are organised, implemented and used. Subsequently, eight contrasting services in relation to geographic and socioeconomic setting, populations served, and service configuration will be identified as case studies. Interviews will be conducted with children, young people and parents/carers who have used the service, as well as commissioners, managers and practitioners. Operational policies and service usage data will also be examined. Analysis of how each service is provided, experienced, implemented and sustained will be conducted both inductively and deductively, reflecting normalisation process theory constructs.



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NIHR Open Research





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School of Nursing and Midwifery