Harrow children and young people to benefit from government-backed school Mental Health Support Teams

Published on: 3rd September 2020

CNWL CAMHS, in partnership with Harrow CCG and the Local Authority, has been successful in a bid for additional funding to introduce Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) in Harrow as part of a trailblazing government programme. This programme will see two teams of mental health experts working with current services in supporting children and young people (CYP), parents and carers, and schools and colleges across Harrow.

MHSTs will enhance early intervention support to provide extra capacity to deliver evidence-based psychological interventions in schools, and create better links with wider services helping children build resilience, while promoting awareness and understanding among peers and supporting them with any mental health concerns before they become severe. The teams will support schools to develop a whole-school approach to mental health and act as a link between schools and local CYP mental health services, providing an interface to signpost and refer to specialist services based on individual needs.

Key to our successful bid was co-production with a range of partners including children and young people, parents and carers, and other providers of CYP mental health services. This collaborative effort between schools, local authority and the NHS is a great example of our ethos of a proactive approach to emotional and mental health and wellbeing, ensuring CYP receive the right support in the right place at the right time.

Jackie Shaw, CAMHS Service Director at CNWL, said

“This is fantastic news for children in Brent and Harrow and their families. By working together we can identify and provide early support to children and young people who are at risk and prevent difficulties occurring or tackle them head-on when they do, before they get worse. We hope this partnership will help young people receive the right support at the right time.”

Each MHST is staffed by four Education Mental Health Practitioners (EHMPs), who will undertake specialist training at University College London alongside school-based training and will be supervised by NHS staff.

The programme will see MHSTs partner with schools to develop localised whole schools approaches based on the level of need in their school population, current mental health investment and support, and development of mental health leadership. The launch of Mental Health Support teams, which aim to be operational by November 2021, is part of the Government’s plans to transform children and young people’s mental health through the NHS Long Term Plan. For more information, visit the NHS England website.

You can also keep updated on the development of MHSTs on the CNWL CAMHS website.