Hounslow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the London Borough of Hounslow, in partnership with West London NHS Trust, are delighted to announce that they have been awarded funding to establish a third Mental Health Support Team (MHSTs) linked to schools in the borough.
Mental Health Support Teams are part of a new initiative introduced in 2019, aiming to provide mental health and emotional wellbeing support to children and young people in the school setting when needs first arise.
Building on the success of setting up two teams in the borough, NHS England announced the additional funding for Hounslow and other regions across England today.
This new MHST will add additional resource to the existing two teams working across the boroughwhich are set to launch officially from December 2019. The original school hubs in east and west will now be joined by a school hub in central Hounslow, with a total of 12 newly trained Education Wellbeing Practitioners (EWPs) embedded in the borough’s schools. The addition of a new team will enable the service to reach more children and young people.
The teams will also align with London Borough of Hounslow’s new Early Help Hub launching in September 2019.
The addition of the new team will see a significant increase in support for schools, extending the number of hours of support that EWPs will be able to spend in schools across the borough.
To date, 8 EWPs are now in post and will be fully qualified by December 2019. They have begun their placements in 20 schools across the borough (spanning 10 primaries, 9 secondaries and 1 through school) and are supervised by experienced Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) practitioners in each team.
The work of the EWPs is already having a positive impact on the students, with Joanna Grant, Head of Support Centre at Lampton School saying that students “have benefited from this intervention” and Heather McMahon, SEN/LD Consultant at Rivers Academy commenting that “the young people who have had sessions with the EWP have become well-adjusted and confident and challenge their everyday problems.”
In response to this latest development in the project, GPDr Annabel Crowe, Chair of Hounslow CCG and North West London Clinical Lead for Mental Health said:
“This is great news. Investment in the emotional and mental wellbeing of our children and young people is vital for the future of our Hounslow community. It is important that the service is being based in schools where young people spend much of their time.
Being awarded this extra funding is a credit to the hard work and enthusiasm of the teams developing and providing this service”.
More information about Mental Health Support Teams in Hounslow
MHSTs will deliver evidence-based interventions and guided self-help for students aged 4-18 years old with low-level mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, and help schools to develop a whole-school approach to mental health.
Each MHST is staffed by 4 Education Wellbeing Practitioners (EWPs), who are currently being specially trained at the University of Reading. The interventions by EWPs are delivered either on an individual or group basis.
The purpose of interventions by EWPs is to shift the provision of services towards early intervention, as previous projects have focussed more closely on clients with higher needs in the past. EWPs can then refer or signpost students to more specialist interventions and services where necessary.
This builds on existing support in the borough’s schools to take a more proactive approach to mental health and wellbeing, in line with the new Ofsted Framework from September 2019.