CUES-Ed is an innovative psycho-education progamme about mental health, based in primary schools and formulated by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. It has been developed as a result of feedback gathered over many years from children in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
The resources and workshops encourage children to learn the skills that can help build their resilience from an early age. Through partnerships with schools, CUES-Ed is able to reach large numbers of young people by delivering its programme to whole classes. You can read more about CUES-Ed on their website here.
Maudsley Charity has supported CUES-Ed to develop a package targeting children with chronic physical illnesses who struggle with their mental health and provided funding to help develop resources as part of our COVID-19 emergency response.
CUES-Ed for children with chronic physical illness
Young people living with chronic illnesses can experience a range of persistent stressors that can increase their risk of developing mental health problems. These difficulties, such as anxiety and low mood, can in turn exacerbate their physical health and how they manage it.
The Charity’s funding enabled the creation of an interactive website and clinic-based ‘drop-in centre’, to teach fundamental skills in emotional literacy and wellbeing, practical cognitive strategies and behavioural techniques.
The existing CUES-Ed primary school programme has been adapted in the content and form of its delivery, to work for children with chronic physical illness. They have kept the same bright, memorable characters to promote mental wellbeing in a positive and engaging way.
CUES-Ed materials are being provided to hundreds of children aged 7-12 years who are undergoing treatment at King’s College Hospital in its Liver, Diabetes or General Paediatric services. The materials include workbooks, and web-based materials such as interactive quizzes, games and tasks.
The children and their families are also invited to take part in drop-in clinic sessions, to try out techniques and consolidate home learning.
"CUES-Ed promotes basic physical and emotional self-care and the bidirectional links between looking after ourselves physically and emotionally."
Integrated physical and mental health
Debbie Plant, Clinical Psychologist at SLaM and Creative Lead of CUES-Ed says: “It is vital that the mental health and wellbeing of children managing chronic illness is prioritised alongside their physical health”.
The NHS is calling for a more integrated approach to physical and mental healthcare. The Maudsley Charity is already backing several important projects in this area, such as the Mind and Body programme, and Outdoor Gyms on hospital sites.
Responding to COVID-19
As schools close down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maudsley Charity have supported CUES-Ed to create an online resource with tips for children on how they can look after their mental health at home.
The website guides young people through simple things they can do to manage their wellbeing at home – from eating and sleeping well, to planning the day’s activities in advance. It also offers advice for children who might be worried about problems caused by the impact of COVID-19, such as not seeing their friends.
Explore the CUES-Ed website and its COVID-19 resources below: