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How to use the resource:

What the resource is for

The Early Intervention Framework for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing is a database of early intervention programmes. It has been designed to help guide decision making around what interventions or initiatives to implement. The resource provides information about a range of programmes aimed at improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people and uses the NIRN Hexagon model to structure the information provided. By doing this we hope to aid your assessment and decision making around which intervention is the best fit for your implementing context. For each programme you explore, you will find information on each indicator of the Hexagon Tool. You will be able to compare programmes which will help you make an informed decision about what programme would be the best fit for your unique situation.

Further background information about implementation science and the Hexagon Tool used can be found here

Prior to using the resource

The information provided about each programme is structured around the 6 indicators of the NIRN Hexagon Tool.

  • Usability
  • Supports
  • Evidence
  • Fit
  • Capacity
  • Need

You will find information about each of the Programme Indicators - the Usability of a programme, the Supports available from the programme developers to implement it and the best Evidence for the programme. Each of these indicators will have been given a rating based on the Hexagon Tool scoring system. You will also find details about Implementing Site Indicators this is the Need the programme meets, how it might Fit in a service, with other approaches or services and what Capacity is required to deliver the programme. These indicators are scored by you the “implementing site”. It is therefore important that you have done a bit of preparation prior to using this tool so you know what you are looking for and how to score the Implementing Site Indicators.

We would recommend that you have conducted a needs assessment before using the tool. It would be helpful to have a solid idea about what you are looking for and what is needed in the population you serve prior to using the resource. You might want to consider the following:

  • Have you collected data about the need?
    • What is the issue of concern? What do you want to understand? What is the extent of the unmet need?
    • Identify the population: is it an entire community or a specific population with certain characteristics?
    • Statistics about the population / community profile
    • What is the gap between need and supply?
    • What is the availability of current services to meet the needs of the population?
    • What are stakeholder opinions – population of interest, professionals, wider public? What do they perceive is the need?
  • Have you thought about, and collected data on, the kind of programme that might fit in your community?
    • What are the family and community values?
    • Are there cultural and linguistic differences that need to be accounted for in your community?
    • What other initiative are currently being implemented locally that a new programme would need to fit with and how will they help or hinder a new programme?
  • Have you considered what your current capacity is?
    • What is your budget to implement a new intervention or approach?
    • What staff do you have available?
    • What are their qualifications / level of training of your staff pool?
    • What capacity do your staff have to deliver a new intervention or approach?
    • How could capacity be created?

Having an overview of these 3 dimensions, Need, Fit and Capacity, will aid you in rating the programmes and in making a fully informed decision about what programme to invest in.

Search programmes

Once you have identified the population you are targeting and the need you are looking to meet you can start to narrow down your programmes. The “Search Programmes” button, found at the top of every page, or the “Explore the Programmes” button found on the home page will take you to the “Filter Programmes” page. Here you can filter your search by

  • Age
  • score on indicators
  • delivery model
  • provision (whether the programme has been implemented in Scotland)
  • mental health and mental wellbeing need - this section is broken into 4 areas of need:
    • Supporting Behavioural Challenges
    • Promoting Emotional Wellbeing
    • Supporting Positive Relationships
    • Neurodiverse Conditions

By selecting one of these filters all subheadings will be searched, or you can select an area of specific focus under each of these filters.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a particular programme you can enter the name, or part of the name, of the programme in the “search by name” section.

Hit “search” or the return button to generate the responses to your search. From here you can edit your search using the filters that appear on the page. Previous search results will not be saved.

Programme Pages

Once you have narrowed your search using the filters, select a programme to explore. You will be taken to the “Programme Pages”. Here you will see a summary of the programme and a hexagon. Use the hexagon to navigate between indicators. When exploring each indicator, you will see a rating score on the heading and a question mark icon next to the rating. By hovering over this icon, you can see the description of what the rating means.

On this page you can also share the page with others, save the programme information as a pdf and add the programme to be compared with others.

These pages are for information only. If you select the purple “Complete assessment” button, you will be taken to the Self-Assessment pages where you can add content to the Implementing Site Indicators, score them and save your work.


Self-Assessment pages

The information about the Programme Indicators (Usability, Supports and Evidence) are the same here as on the programme pages. Within the Implementing Site Indicators (Fit, Capacity & Need) you will now be able to type in your responses to the questions and score these indicators.

For each Site Indicator you can select a score at the bottom of the page, using a drop-down menu. Next to the drop down you will see a question mark icon. If you hover over this icon, it will reveal the scoring criteria for each rating.

On the self-assessment pages, you are also able to add the programme to the “Compare Programmes” section. The scores you entered for the implementing site indicators will now appear in this section.

Save the programme

To ensure any scores and responses to questions are not lost you must save your work. This is done by clicking the “Save Self-Assessment” button at the top of the page. You will then be prompted to enter your email address. Once you have done this and clicked “send email” you will receive a link that takes you back to the Self-Assessment pages of this programme.  This process should be repeated for each programme you enter information into if you wish it to be saved.

When using the website it is advised that you always use the same web browser on the same device to reduce the risk of any of your changes not being saved.

Download PDF

Alternatively, you can download a PDF by clicking on the Generate Self-Assessment Report button. This will produce a PDF with all the programme information included and all the information you entered.

After using either the download PDF or Save Self-Assessment options, you can navigate away from this page and upon returning to it later (using the same device and web browser) your scores will remain, however, text entered WILL NOT. To save text you must use the Save Self-Assessment function.


Compare Programmes

From the programme pages and the Self-Assessment pages, you can add the programme to the Compare Programme page by selecting the option in the Compare section. If scores have been entered for the Implementing Site Indicators these will appear here. To navigate to the Compare Programmes page, click the purple “Compare Programme” button at the top of the page. If you are on the Self-Assessment page you will be reminded that you need to save any work. If you do not save your scores they will be lost when you return to the page.

In the Compare Programme page you will be able to view the scores from a number of programmes side by side. Underneath the scores you have the option to navigate back to the programme page or to remove the programme from the compare programme page.


Making a Decision

Once you have narrowed your search and completed the self-assessment for these programmes the Compare Programmes function will let you see the programme scores side by side.

We suggest first prioritising the Implementing Site indicator for Need. Understanding the need of your population is an important starting point for narrowing down potential programmes that demonstrate evidence for meeting that specific need.  Once you have selected programmes that demonstrate evidence for meeting the unique needs for your population, you can consider the usability of the programme, the types of supports available if you choose that programme, whether you have the capacity to implement and sustain the programme, and whether the programme under consideration is aligned with the priorities and values of your community.

When making a decision about what programme to implement, it is important to take into account a number of factors

  • Ratings across the indicators
  • All the information provided about the programmes
  • What is realistic for your service
  • If capacity is scoring low – can this be increased with any local changes?

Ratings should not be the only factor in your decision making but should be used as a guide to help your decision making.