A scheme to help children with mental health and behavioural problems, and their families, is to be extended.
The Scottish Government is providing £200,000 of funding to extend the Functional Family Therapy programme in Glasgow City, with £400,000 of additional funding from Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership.
The scheme provides therapy for children and their parents to help deal with issues like behavioural problems, violent behaviour, self-harm trauma and anxiety. It has been running as a pilot programme for children aged 11-17, with evidence of positive impacts for children, their siblings and parents.
The additional funding will extend the age range of the programme to include children from 0 - 18. It will allow the creation of a more intensive programme targeting families with complex needs, with daily therapy sessions including weekends if required.
Participants will be taught skills to help them cope with issues like stress, anxiety and anger management. After 12 months the programme will be evaluated to determine and improvements in mental health, behaviour and educational outcomes.
Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, said: “I’m pleased that we have been able to fund the extension of the Functional Family Therapy programme, which has already delivered positive results for children and their families.
“We know how crucial early intervention can be in mental health. By extending the programme to younger children we are more likely to be able to prevent more serious mental health and behavioural problems from emerging.
“A young person’s problems are often associated with difficulties in the family, so offering therapy to everyone can be a very effective way of funding long-term solutions. If this programme is shown to be beneficial, there might be a benefit in extending it to other areas.”
David Williams, Chief Officer of Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership said:“Functional Family Therapy is an important part of our programme to deliver evidence based approaches for children and family in Glasgow. By supporting vulnerable families earlier we seek to improve outcomes for children, young people and their parents, prevent family breakdown and keep children at home and in school in Glasgow.
“We will do this within a multi-agency partnership and including the third sector. It’s an exciting and important development and Glasgow HSCP are very grateful for the support and assistance from Scottish Government.”