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The University of Southampton

EMHP7222 (EMHP) Assessment and Engagement

Module Overview

EMHPs will assess children, young people and families with a range of mental health problems. This assessment must reflect the child and their family’s perspective and must be conducted with the child’s and family’s needs paramount. The assessment should reflect a shared understanding of the child or young person’s current difficulties and inform how decisions are made with the family about the best next steps for the child and the family. Possible next steps include giving advice and psycho-education, referral to another agency, care within the multidisciplinary CAMHS team (e.g. for medication or formal psychological therapy) or a low intensity intervention (e.g. guided self-help, brief behavioural activation) delivered by the practitioner themselves. A EMHP practitioner must be able to undertake a child-centred interview which identifies the child’s/ young person’s current difficulties, their goals and those of their family/parents, their strengths and resources and any risk to self or others. They need to understand the child in the context of their family, culture, wider social environment, developmental stage and temperament. They need to engage the child or young person and their carer(s) and other family members and to establish therapeutic alliances. They will need to gather appropriate information from different sources, be able to make sense of this and with the family develop a shared understanding. They also need to understand how the child’s difficulties fit within a diagnostic framework, identify other physical, developmental or psychological difficulties (e.g. epilepsy, autistic spectrum disorders, attachment history) and know what evidence-based interventions are likely to be appropriate. The module will therefore equip the EMHP with a good understanding of the incidence, prevalence and presentation of common mental health problems experienced by children and young people and evidenced-based treatment choices. Skills teaching will develop core competences in active listening, engagement, alliance building, patient-centred information gathering, information giving and shared decision-making. The module will develop the EMHPs competency in assess and identify areas of difficulty (including risk) and establish main areas for change, establish and maintain a working therapeutic alliance and engaging the child/young person/family to support them in self-management of recovery. Identify and differentiate between common mental health problems in CYP, Navigate and signpost to appropriate interventions and use routine outcome measures and standardised assessment tools effectively as part of the assessment and engagement process.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Develop critical appreciation, knowledge, understanding and awareness of concepts of mental health and mental illness, diagnostic category systems in mental health and a range of social, medical and psychological explanatory models.
  • Demonstrate and critically reflect on your competence in understanding the CYP’s attitude to a range of mental health treatments including prescribed medication and evidence-based psychological treatments.
  • Demonstrate a sound critical knowledge of, and competence in applying the principles, purposes and different types of assessment undertaken with CYP with common mental health disorders
  • Critically reflect and demonstrate knowledge of, and competence in using ‘common factors’ to engage CYP, gather information, build a therapeutic alliance with people with common mental health problems, manage the emotional content of sessions and grasp the client’s perspective or “world view”.
  • Develop critical awareness of knowledge of, and competence in ‘CYP-centred’ information gathering to arrive at a succinct and collaborative definition of the CYP’s main mental health difficulties and the impact this has on their daily living.
  • Critically reflect on the knowledge of, and demonstrate competence in recognising patterns of symptoms consistent with diagnostic categories of mental disorder from a CYP-centred interview.
  • Demonstrate critical awareness of knowledge and demonstrate competence in accurate risk assessment to CYP, Parent or others.
  • Critically reflect on the knowledge of, and demonstrate competence in the use of standardised assessment tools including symptom and other psychometric instruments to aid problem recognition and definition and subsequent decision-making.
  • Critically reflect on the knowledge, understanding and demonstrate competence in using behaviour change models in identifying intervention goals and choice of appropriate interventions.
  • Demonstrate critical awareness around knowledge of, and competence in giving evidence-based information about treatment choices and in making shared decisions with CYP.


- Therapeutic relationship skills, ability to engage and communicate across the age range. Developmental stages and background, working with difference. - Cultural diversity awareness - cultural competence - Engagement of CYP & families. - Using creativity to engage children & young people - Interviewing & questioning skills - Risk assessment, safeguarding & management - Common mental health problems in CYP - How to use measures, goal-setting & goal based outcomes - Knowledge of support interventions & giving evidence based information (psychoeducation) - Pharmacology - assessment and awareness of medication that may be prescribed for CYP for common mental health problems

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures Small group tutorials Experiential activities Role Play Guided reading Directed activities in NHS services

Independent Study187
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Creswell, C. & Willetts, L. (2007). Overcoming your Child's Fears and Worries. 

Burton, M., Pavard, E. & Williams, B. (2014). An Introduction to Child and Adolescent M ental Health. 

Kendall, P.C. (Ed.) (2011). Child and Adolescent therapy: Cognitive-behavioural procedures. 

Hooper, C., Thompson, M., Laver-Bradbury, C. & Gale, C.  (2012). Child and adolescent mental health: Theory and practice. 

Bennett-Levy,J., Richards, D., Farrand, P., Christensen, H., Griffiths, K., Kavanagh, D., Klein, B.,Lau, M.A., Proudfoot, J., Ritterband, L., White, J. & Williams, C. (2010). Oxford Guide to Low Intensity CBT Interventions. 


Assessment Strategy

Video assessment of client demonstrating engagement, assessment, information giving and shared decision making A 1000 word reflective analysis. 2000 word case report




MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment  (2000 words) 100%
Audio or Video Recording  (45 minutes)


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


There are no cost implications for this module outside of normal student costs, such as paper, pens etc.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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