Project MH09

Implementing parent-led CBT within CFYP MH Services

With childhood anxiety disorders and demand on children and young people’s mental health services increasing we have to think differently about how we improve access to and implement evidence-based interventions.


Parent Guided CBT for childhood anxiety (Creswell et al., 2010), is a self-help approach that has been evaluated in NIHR funded randomised controlled trials across various settings with good effects. With parents/carers keen to acquire skills to support their children, improving access to this guided self-help approach shows promise in reducing anxiety in children and empowering parents/carers.


We aimed to improve the rate of implementation of this effective and under-utilised approach and to improve the capacity, skills, and knowledge for staff to deliver this. To improve access to Parent-led CBT we implemented the intervention within primary schools across Norfolk and Waveney. We trained 22 clinicians as PL-CBT trainers from 4 organisations and, across 3 waves of training, trained 107 clinicians/staff from 78 primary schools in this approach. This resulted in 87 interventions as of the end of December 2023. In addition, we initiated ongoing support for school staff through trainer-facilitated ‘Collaborative Learning and Support Sessions’ (CLaSS)—a fortnightly group designed to monitor/support implementation through discussion of the shared experiences of school pastoral staff