Lisa Williams – Children’s mental health service design and commissioning support

I have been involved in numerous projects with Boingboing over many years and return continually to the Resilience Framework as a sound, evidence based approach which is refreshingly grounded in practice. I specialise in commissioning support and service improvement for children’s emotional and mental health systems, and have over 20 years of experience gained in national and regional government, commissioning, public health and children’s services. I continually encountered local authorities and NHS services struggling with, if not overwhelmed by, poor mental health which was linked to poverty, constellations of need, and inequalities. Many mainstream service approaches are simply too orientated in a ‘medical model’ or ‘silo’ focused to be effective.

I asked Angie Hart and Boingboing to support us with seminars for front line staff. As part of our consultancy to local systems, I saw first hand, how the resilience approach inspired both leaders and practitioners with a ‘re-framed’ view of mental health support as being as about accessible strategies which any caring professional can pick up and work with and which whole services can adopt. I continue to collaborate with Angie and the great network of people involved in Boingboing both in my role as a secondary school governor and in my capacity as a member of the national mental health consortium ‘BOND’ – all of which is interesting and challenging, and always fun.

I develop and deliver training, consultancy and support to commissioners, schools and not-for-profit providers. As a Community Fellow for many years, I have collaborated with the University of Brighton to strengthen the links between research, policy and practice in the field of children’s resilience. My experience as a Governor within a rapidly improving secondary school inspired me to develop the Academic Resilience Approach with Professor Angie Hart, in partnership with YoungMinds.

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