Young people to get more mental health support in schools

Young people across Central Lancashire who are struggling with their mental health and emotional wellbeing will soon benefit from new support teams based in schools.

Three Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) will support pupils at secondary schools, and colleges in Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston.

The teams will support those who are experiencing emotional or wellbeing issues such as low-level anxiety, low mood, or friendship or behavioural difficulties, to ensure they don’t escalate to more serious mental health issues.

They will work with pupils either face to face or in groups. They will also give advice to school staff and parents to help children get the right support and remain in education. Where necessary, the teams will work alongside specialist services.

NHS Chorley and South Ribble Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Greater Preston Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) were successful in bidding for NHS England (NHSE) funding to create the new teams which are part of a wider NHSE programme.

CCG staff will be working with mental health teams, headteachers and teachers, parent representatives, partners and third sector organisations from across Central Lancashire to develop and establish the new service.

Recruitment is currently taking place and the teams will undertake training, including casework within some schools, from Spring 2022, before becoming fully operation the following year.

Mental Health Transformation Manager for NHS Central Lancashire CCGs, Janet Ince, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to be developing this incredibly important service. Now, more than ever, supporting our young people with their emotional and mental wellbeing is just so important.

“By offering this support in schools and colleges, we will help pupils to achieve the best educational outcomes and reduce the chance of them developing more serious mental health issues in later in life.”

The announcement of additional support comes ahead of the upcoming World Mental Health Day, held annually on 10 October, as recognised by the World Health Organisation. The CCGs will be supporting the 2021 campaign, themed ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World' by the World Federation for Mental Health. Learn more, and how to get involved at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/world-mental-health-day