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5 Jan 2021, 19:00
After being selected by NHS England as a trailblazer site for transforming children and young people’s healthcare across the country, the first Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) mental health support teams will start to provide further support for students from June. 32 schools and colleges in St Albans and East Hertfordshire will be the first to benefit. Having mental health professionals working with teachers, helping students and providing closer links with specialist NHS services has been welcomed by the schools and colleges taking part in the first phase.
Mental health professionals will be offering support and evidence-based interventions for students with mild to moderate health needs and their parents, in or close to their schools/colleges at an early stage. The teams will also be ensuring that students with more severe needs gain access to the appropriate support.
HPFT’s Director of Service Delivery and Service User Experience Sandra Brookes said: “Our CAMHS* service has created two new and dynamic mental health support teams.
“Working closely with schools and colleges in their educational settings will enable our teams to gain a thorough understanding of the issues our children and young people are experiencing at an earlier stage. Demand for our services is increasing and the new teams will be working hard to help young people who need their support, at the right time.”
Hertfordshire’s two NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), East and North Hertfordshire CCG and Herts Valleys CCG, which buy health services for the county’s population, are working with Hertfordshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board, Hertfordshire County Council and other partners to develop and implement the five-year mental health and wellbeing transformation plan for children and young people in Hertfordshire.
Karen Thomas, Deputy Head at St Albans Girls School took part in the film and is welcoming the opportunity to work more closely with mental health professionals. She said: “Like all schools nationally we’ve seen a rise in the poor mental health of students. I think their anxieties are over everything – over growing up, over exams, over pressure to be this or that has led to some very worrying statistics for our young people. So having that closer link with CAMHS is going to be amazing.”
Kathryn Magson, CEO of NHS Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group and Chair for the Hertfordshire Emotional and Mental Wellbeing Board said: “Being a trailblazer area for mental health support for children in schools gives us a brilliant opportunity to expand access to mental health care for children and young people.
“Hertfordshire is being given the opportunity to develop models of early intervention on mild to moderate mental health issues, such as exam stress, behavioural difficulties or friendship issues, as well as providing help to staff within a school and college setting.
“I look forward to seeing how the new trailblazer service develops over the next few months.”
Take a look at HPFT’s website for children and young people – it has lots of useful information and advice including self-help and what to expect at an appointment https://www.hpftcamhs.nhs.uk/ .
NHS Herts Valleys CCG has produced a film about the scheme:
List of schools and colleges in St Albans in the first phase, linking with the new MHST:
St Albans Girls School (Secondary and Hub School)
Oaklands College (FE College)
Batchwood (Special SEMH)
Links (Education Support Centre)
St Lukes (Special LD)
St Albans School (Independent)
Bernards Heath Junior (Primary)
Cunningham Hill Infants (Primary
Fleetville Junior (Primary)
Wheatfields Infants (Primary)
St Michaels C of E VA (Primary)
Prae Wood (Primary)
Margaret Wix (Primary)
Aboyne Lodge (Primary)
Nicholas Breakspear (Secondary)