Children and young people in North Kirklees will receive support from specially trained mental health teams in school and colleges to help with their emotional wellbeing under a new national NHS scheme.
The area is one of three in West Yorkshire, and 48 nationally, chosen to be ‘trailblazer’ areas identified by the NHS, with support being given to young people with mild to moderate mental health needs through a total of six mental health support teams.
This national mental health programme aims to bridge the gap between schools and colleges and NHS services. Our chief executive Rob Webster – who is also CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership – has welcomed the news.
Rob said: “All young people deserve the best start in life. All too often, young people with a mental health problem are not able to fulfil their potential. Bringing mental health and education professionals together is a positive step forward and this is much needed support is going into three areas of our Partnership. We can then share learning and spread good practice everywhere.”
Around one in 10 children are believed to have a diagnosable mental health disorder, with half of all mental health conditions beginning before the age of 14, making it vital that children with early symptoms receive the support they need.
Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) will be introduced across these West Yorkshire trailblazer sites over the next few months. Each will support several schools and colleges, covering a population of around 8,000 children and young people. Their new workforce of Education Mental Health Practitioners will work with education settings to provide early intervention on mild to moderate mental health issues and provide help to staff in schools and colleges.
A programme jointly delivered with the Department of Education, teams will also act as a link with local children and young people’s mental health services and be supervised by NHS staff.