TOPS (Time Out for Positive Steps)
The TOPS Project is for pupils from mainstream schools who are unable to attend due to a range of mental health issues including anxiety-based school refusal. It is a short-term programme that works with mainstream schools and health professionals to reintegrate pupils back to school. A CAMHS referral is necessary to avail of the programme.
Pupils come from all over Belfast, from all sections of the community and all types of schools. Our ethos is totally inclusive.
The main aim of this programme is to help pupils develop socially, emotionally and academically so that they feel able to return to and remain in mainstream school.
We work in partnership with the Child Adolescent Mental Health team, The Child and Family Clinic team and the Education Authority's Educational Psychologists to promote the pupils’ self esteem, raise their self confidence and help them to overcome the barriers that have prevented them from going to school, socialising and leading a “normal” life. We also work with the parents to help them understand how to cope with the challenges of an adolescent who is experiencing these difficulties.