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Funding for new Mental Health Support Team to support wellbeing in Sefton schools this #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

Partners in Sefton have been awarded £320,000 of new funding to extend their Mental Health Support Team (MHST) programme, to boost early intervention and mental health support for school children and young people in the borough.

The news follows the earlier roll out this spring of two pilot MHSTs working across 40 schools and colleges in Sefton, as part of a national programme to transform children and young people’s mental health services. The announcement of additional funding means that the teams can extend their support across even more educational institutions in Sefton from 2022 autumn term onwards.

MHSTs are led locally by a partnership bringing together Sefton Council and NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Southport and Formby CCG, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, North West Boroughs Healthcare, schools and voluntary community and faith (VCF) sector colleagues.

These teams aim to provide early intervention of some mental health and emotional wellbeing issues and build on the support already available in schools from local health and care services and community, voluntary and faith sector organisations. They can help support children and young people with issues such as mild to moderate anxiety, offering one to one and group support to pupils and their families, as well as school staff.

They are also helping staff within the 40 schools and colleges to provide a ‘whole school approach’ to mental health and wellbeing, by supporting designated mental health leads at each school to embed a culture of awareness of emotional wellbeing and good mental health, within each school community.

Jackie Lunt, clinical lead for Sefton Schools MHST, said:

“Our Mental Health Support Teams are part of a revolutionary change in how child mental health support is provided.

“Funding an additional team will help us to provide support to many more schools in Sefton, creating educational communities that strengthen our young people’s emotional health and wellbeing.”

“We are so pleased to be providing psychological support for students, families and educators alike. Ultimately, our goal is to help children and young people to get the right help at the right time for their mental health and emotional wellbeing and thrive as well as access all the life chances the education systems can provide.”

Find out more about the Mental Health Support Teams in Sefton, on the Alder Hey website here: https://alderhey.nhs.uk/services/sefton-mental-health-support-team-mhst

You can find out more about MHSTs in schools across England here: www.england.nhs.uk/2021/05/more-than-a-million-children-given-access-to-nhs-mental-health-support-at-school/