Spotlight Session 2

13:30 - 14:45

Pathways to Empowerment: Creating Safe Self-Referral for Mental Health

In this presentation, delegates will hear more about the challenges involved in empowering patients to manage their care and creating safe self-referral pathways for mental health. 

The presentation will include a case study on surviving suicidal thoughts. 

Delegates will also find out about the Mental Health and Wellbeing Signposting Tool, which can help individuals navigate mental health services, access appropriate support, and self-select their well-being issue. 

The presentation will include discussions on the potential challenges that may arise when creating safe self-referral pathways for mental health, such as ensuring adequate risk management and directing individuals to appropriate services – as well as the need for a national digital platform to support digital interventions for mental health. 


Dr Donald Macintyre

Associate Medical Director, NHS 24

Donald is an NHS consultant general psychiatrist, currently seconded to NHS 24 as Associate Medical Director, a post which he combines with clinical research. He is Honorary Reader at the University of Edinburgh and was appointed Director of the NRS Mental Health Network in 2022.

Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing – Recovery and Renewal

This presentation will focus on the Scottish Government’s whole systems approach to supporting children and young people’s mental health.  In particular the presentation will explore the activities being undertaken to develop an approach in the new Mental Health Strategy for young people’s mental health – including: 

  • Developing and setting National standards for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and Neurodevelopmental services (ND); 

  • The development of community mental health and wellbeing services; 

  • The establishment of perinatal and family mental health services;  

  • Developing solutions for young people experiencing crisis or distress; 

  • School based approaches to support mental health and wellbeing; 

  • Prevention and early intervention and the importance of reducing stigma and; 

  • Expanding capacity to deliver support digitally and online. 

Developing, supporting and retaining the workforce is also key; as is listening to children and young people. Scotland’s children and young people should be able to access the support they require, at the time they need it, through services and systems that are truly responsive to their needs. 


Stephen McLeod

Professional Advisor – Mental Health, Scottish Government

Stephen has been in Specialist Children’s Services for the last 25 years, he has been a Senior NHS Manager and Head of Service.

Ruth Christie

Co- Head – Children, Young People, Families and Relationships – Mental Health, Scottish Government

Ruth has worked in a variety of roles across Scottish Government over the last 16 years, from Education to Children and Families to Health.

Lizzie Archibald

Development Adviser, Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, Scottish Government

Lizzy has many years of experience as an occupational therapist, where she works for NHS Grampian.

Hannah Deane

Policy Support, Scottish Government

Hannah recently joined Scottish Government in 2022 and is a part of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Improvement team in the Children, Young People and Families Unit.

Redesigning Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in NHS Ayrshire & Arran 2020-23.

Following Scottish Government funding for recovery and renewal, CAMHS invested in the redesign of the service to meet the specification and the needs of children, young people and families/carers.  The pandemic had a huge impact on the service, but it also allowed CAMHS to think differently. 

In this presentation, delegates will gain an understanding of the work NHS Ayrshire & Arran has been taking forward by working with third sector partners to deliver innovative and dynamic solutions.   

Delegates will also hear more about how the service has developed new roles to ensure CAMHS has an adaptable workforce for the future.  

The presentation will also explore how CAMHS are: 

  • Working with partners to provide different supports for young people on the Neurodevelopmental waiting list and young people with anxiety through co-designed leisure sessions and water therapy with young people; 

  • Creating a data model CAMHS PowerBI that enables the service to have; referral data, workforce data, school and school cluster information, SIMD information. 

  • Testing new ways of working  - reviewing whether online, face to face or telephone appointments work best for families; 

  • Using the data to enable decisions to be made which mean that young people are on the appropriate pathway for them, much earlier on in their journey; and 

  • Developing new roles like the CAMHS Pharmacist working across Community CAMHS and with ADHD clinics. 


Kerry Allison

Quality Improvement Advisor, CAMHS, CEDS, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Kerry works within the CAMHS and CEDS teams in A&A working to deliver innovative dynamic solutions, using data in the redesign of the service.

Dr Helen Smith

Clinical Director, CAMHS, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Dr Smith is dual trained in Forensic and Child and Adolescent psychiatry. She has worked as a consultant psychiatrist in adolescent inpatient care and Forensic CAMHS services previously.