Primary Mental Health Workers (PMHWs) have been deployed to address the mental health needs of young offenders referred to Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) in two UK areas. The mental health characteristics of 60 young people consecutively referred to these PMHWs, the assessment outcome and interventions offered, are described. In addition to the anticipated concerns about oppositional/aggressive behaviour, young people were referred for a range of mental health problems. There were high levels of emotional problems, self-harm, peer and family relationships difficulties, and school non-attendance. PMHWs offered a range of direct interventions, as well as consultation to YOT staff. The service findings indicate the usefulness of such an inter-agency model in strengthening the links between specialist CAMHS and YOTs, and providing an accessible, responsive and effective service to a needy group of young people
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