New Mental Health Support Teams to support student mental health

Published: 25 March 2021 to 31 December 2098

Hull schoolchildren are to be supported with their mental health and wellbeing as they return to classes after almost a year of home schooling.

Two new Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) are being created and we will be delivering the services in partnership with the NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and Hull City Council.

The service will see our dedicated mental health professionals integrate within schools and colleges to provide early intervention mental health support for children and young people aged five to 18.

This is part of a national NHS England programme which aims to roll out MHSTs to between one-fifth and a quarter of the country by the end of 2023.

Dr Amy Oehring, local GP and a member of Hull Children, Young People and Families Board, said:

“I’m so pleased that we will soon be able to offer this service to children and young people in Hull.

This is even more important now as we know some of our young people in Hull have found Covid-19 restrictions really difficult and, sadly, in many cases it has had a negative effect on their mental wellbeing.”

Together with Hull CCG, we are currently supporting schools, colleges, parents and pupils to fully design the service, ensuring it reflects their needs and works to suit those who will be accessing it.

As part of the process, people are taking part in virtual focus groups, completing online workbooks and will be giving feedback on every element of the service along the way. There is also a direct focus to work with individuals representing vulnerable groups, including LGBT, minority ethnic groups and those with disabilities.

Our teams in Hull will be made up of two Senior Practitioners and four Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs), as well as providing support from professional and clinical leadership.

As part of this pilot, eight local schools have been selected to host an EMHP for a placement year during their initial training; a further 26 schools will have access to MHST Senior Practitioners. Once fully operational, in Spring 2022, the service will support all 34 schools equally.

Emma Train-Sullivan, MHST Service Lead at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, has been working with schools and colleges to develop the service.

She said: “Though we will not be fully operational until next year, we will be supporting schools and their pupils later this year. The fantastic response we have had so far from schools and colleges has been incredible and it’s clear how important mental health and wellbeing is to many of the schools in Hull.”

Pauline Turner, Director of Children’s Services at Hull City Council, said:

“The introduction of this new service comes at such a pinnacle moment as children and young people’s mental wellbeing is at the forefront of conversation up and down the country.

Many have experienced a very confusing and challenging year and to be able to provide some concrete support for young people in Hull is fantastic.”

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