Jigsaw – Student Characteristics and Referrals

This criterion has been reviewed to help schools and other professionals make appropriate referrals to the Secondary Jigsaw Mental Health Team. The Jigsaw team would like to discuss possible referrals in a telephone consultation.

We accept referrals from:

  • Heads of Years / Pastoral Managers
  • Educational Psychologists
  • G.P’s
  • School Nurses
  • School Counsellors

Which children are appropriate for the Jigsaw Team?

The Jigsaw Team provides a service to secondary-aged students, who are experiencing mental health difficulties which are beginning to have an impact on their emotional, social and educational wellbeing.

All students must be currently receiving an education from their school.

All referrals will be acknowledged and screened for appropriateness. If a referral is deemed inappropriate, suggestions of alternative services will be sought. In some circumstances, this may become apparent during the consultation.

Referrals we consider:


  • The young person must have an attendance of 80% or above.

Recent changes in personality and /or behaviour-

  • The young person may have longstanding problems, however, they need to present with recent changes in their behaviour. This is required for the short-term, specific intervention delivered by Secondary Jigsaw to be effective.

Mood Swings

  • Irritability, unusual aggressive outbursts without apparent risk to self or others
  • Sadness/ low mood
  • Low self-esteem, reduced confidence, reduced engagement
  • Lacking concern of risk to self

Anxiety and Fears

  • Generalised, separation, health, and social phobias including school phobia
  • Panic attacks

The above of which have a mild to moderate impact on daily functioning.

Somatic problems

  • Physical pains that have an unidentified physical cause such as abdominal pain which have been assessed by a physician

Sleep problems

  • Waking up in the night, difficulty falling asleep, early morning waking, nightmares

Grief reaction/bereavement issues

  • Short-term emotional support and school liaison with a view to signposting onto specialist services if needed

Deliberate Self Harm – Without suicidal ideation or need for medical intervention

  • Short-term work to promote alternative coping strategies and self-management of risk with the view to refer to specialist services if needed

Referrals we will not accept:

  • Emergency and urgent problems that warrant hospital services
  • Severe Mental Health Disorders that require core CAMHS e.g.:
    • Moderate to severe depression
    • Suicidal ideation
    • Psychotic disorders; Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder or Drug-induced psychosis
    • When the primary need is an assessment for ADHD
    • Assessment for Autistic spectrum disorders /Social communication disorders.
    • Chronic somatic and anxiety disorders that are having a significantly high impact on daily functioning
    • Deliberate self-harm with suicidal ideation or need for medical intervention
    • Risk to self or others from aggression
    • Suspected/actual eating disorder
  • Where attachment work is needed as a primary intervention
  • Suspected or actual abuse without social care assessment having been completed or when the young person remains in an abusive setting.
  • Where substance misuse (drugs and alcohol) is the primary presentation
  • Conduct disorders – stealing, defiance, fire setting, long-standing aggression and anti-social behaviour, criminal record where none of the referral criteria applies
  • Family dysfunction where none of the referral criteria applies

(N.B: If concerns are held about the student’s mental health or risk of self harm, a referral needs to be made to core CAMHS through the school nurse or family GP)

Information we require from schools or other referrers:

  • Description of the student’s difficulties
  • Length of presenting difficulties
  • Effect of presenting difficulties on daily functioning
  • School attendance levels over the past 12 months
  • Any recent or past critical incidents in the student’s life
  • Previous and current support/interventions and their effectiveness
  • Student and carer’s view of and informed consent to the referral

Who can refer and how?

People working within Tier 1 can refer to Tier 2 services by completing the screening form on the website and returning it to jigsaw@pendlebury.stockport.sch.uk ensuring that it is password protected, it will then be screened by a member of the team. One of our practitioners will contact you regarding the outcome.

All referrals will be discussed in Jigsaw’s team meeting and a member of the team will get back to you

Referrals direct to Tier 3 services can only be made through the child’s family G.P. or the school nurse. Children in acute need can attend Stepping Hill A and E department, where an urgent assessment with a Tier 3 worker can be arranged as needed.

Referrals directly to tier 4 cannot be made by tier 1 workers. This would happen through existing tier 3 support or emergency psychiatric assessment by a child and adolescent psychiatrist.

To make a referral, please complete the following form:

SCREENING FORM – Please Click here